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chipotle-shutdownBy now, we’ve all heard of the devastating news regarding the five outbreaks caused by Chipotle Mexican Grill. The outbreaks have caused at least 355 sicknesses and they’ve had to close at least 62 restaurants across the nation due to this.

No doubt, this topic is as hot as chipotle peppers right now. Is their burrito too stuffed or can they come out on top? Well, their management has decided to go public with their plans. Let’s see if well-seasoned:

  • The commissary approach is being taken. Chipotle will no longer prep produce in its restaurants. That’ll happen in a location before it’s delivered. This mean, that the dicing, sanitizing, chopping, and such of lettuce, tomatoes, and cilantro will happen off-site.
  • IEH Laboratories and Consulting Group has been retained to help with the project. They’ve promised to “deliver a more robust food safety program to ensure the highest level of safety and the best quality of all meals served at Chipotle.”
  • They’ll be using high-resolution DNA-based testing to make sure all ingredients are safe before they’re shipped out to restaurants.
  • They’ve all promised to step it up a bit when it comes to food safety and food handling training for all employees.

Chipotle has issued the following statements:

  • The company has performed more than 2,500 tests of food, restaurant surfaces, and equipment, and all showed no sign of E. coli.
  • It was confirmed that none of the company’s employees in the affected restaurants had E. coli. (Also, no Chipotle employees have had E. coli stemming from this incident.)
  • It is testing fresh produce, raw meat, and dairy items (cheese and sour cream) prior to restocking restaurants and implementing additional safety procedures, and audits, in all of its 2,000 restaurants to ensure that robust food safety standards are in place.
  • The company is working closely with federal, state, and local government agencies to ensure that robust food safety standards are in place.
  • It has replaced all ingredients in restaurants that were closed.
  • The company is conducting additional deep cleaning and sanitization in all Chipotle restaurants nationwide.
  • It is going above and beyond the required testing and enhancing nationwide testing of produce and fresh meat.

Chipotle founder and co-chief executive Steve Ells was on The TODAY Show Dec. 10 to apologize to the outbreak victims.

“I have to say I’m sorry for the people that got sick,” he said. “They’re having a tough time. I feel terrible about that, and we’re doing a lot to rectify this and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

 

I just want to know, when they’re done with all that testing, can they tell me what in their food causes so many people to have the bubble guts? I think once they figure that out, we might be willing to stand in that long line again for the beloved burrito bowl!

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