Throughout 2015, Chipotle Mexican grill experienced a multitude of E. coli outbreaks at various locations across America, giving the restaurant a less-than-favorable reputation to the masses. This is unfortunate for this restaurant in particular, as it is one who has committed in the past to remove controversial genetically modified ingredients from its food items, while moving toward healthier alternatives overall.
Here is a timeline of Chipotle’s terrible luck with food outbreaks in 2015:
- In July, 5 people in the Seattle area were sickened with E. coli. The source remains unknown.
- At least 234 people were sickened with the norovirus in Simi Valley, California. The source is unknown.
- In Minnesota, 64 people fell ill with salmonella in August and September. The source of the outbreak was found to be tomatoes served at 17 of the state’s Chipotle establishments.
- Around October 9, 52 people contracted E. coli at establishments in California, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington state.
- In December, more than 140 college students were sickened with norovirus after eating at a Chipotle in Boston’s Cleveland Circle neighborhood.
Due to the company’s moves toward being GMO-free, some individuals think the outbreaks may have even been acts of bioterrorism; it’s still just a theory, though many of us know how truth can be stranger and more unbelievable than fiction.
But no matter what, Chipotle had to make a move.
In response to this slew of E. coli outbreaks occurring in its restaurants in 2015, Chipotle recently announced that it will be temporarily shutting down all of its restaurant locations on February 8th in order to pinpoint and eliminate the bacterial issue while preventing future outbreaks.
About Chipotle’s Closing on Feb 8th
On February 8th, Chipotle will hold a live satellite feed session to tackle the issue as a team. The some 60,000 staffers will be thanked for their efforts in working to contain and deal with the issues, and employees will have a chance to have their questions answered in a Q&A. Most importantly, they will discuss how the company is implementing new food-safety measures to deter any future outbreaks.
The move comes as the company plans to launch a marketing campaign in February designed to make customers feel more secure and hopefully win back those who have shunned the restaurant due to the outbreaks.
“In early February, we’re going to have an all-company meeting, all 60,000 or so of us,” Chipotle founder and co-CEO Steve Ells reportedly told investors. “We’re going to let all of our folks know what we know about how this happened, and, in detail, all the steps we’re taking to ensure that it won’t happen again.”
“I’m confident we’ll recover from this and win back our customers,” Ells said.
What do you think about Chipotle’s 2015 outbreaks and how the company is handling the situation? Will the restaurant win you back if you were a fan?
Featured image credit: REUTERS/Mike Blake/Files
Mike is the co-founder, editor, and researcher behind Natural Society. Studying the work of top natural health activists, and writing special reports for top 10 alternative health websites, Mike has written hundreds of articles and pages on how to obtain optimum wellness through natural health.