For several years, I was engaged in a longstanding battle with my sister over whether or not Chipotle was safe to eat. Several E. coli outbreaks and a reports of post-Chipotle food poisoning kept me far away, but my sister loved their burritos too much to believe the company was the enemy. It seems I was RIGHT.
The Associated Press reports that Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. will pay a $25 million fine after admitting they served tainted food to customers at a number of locations throughout the country.The fine stemmed from criminal charges related to 2015 and 2016 norovirus outbreaks in Los Angeles, Simi Valley, Boston, Ohio, and, later, in Virginia.
Multiple employees at a number of locations reported vomiting at work, but were not allowed to go home. Dozens of customers subsequently reported bouts of food poisoning. Sure sounds like the two are connected!
(It’s noteworthy that this is the second hefty fine Chipotle’s had to pay this year. In January, the company was fined $1 million for violating child labor laws in Massachusetts.)
Chipotle did not address the employees’ reports of poor working conditions, but did admit that the company did not properly handle or heat food, prompting all the vomiting. In 2018, they announced they were retraining all their employees to ensure better food safety practices. Still, I would maybe think twice before enjoying a carnitas burrito bowl at this exact moment.