This Is What Got Everyone Sick At Chipotle

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By Cooking Panda

In mid-July, a bunch of people fell ill with norovirus after ordering their burrito bowls, quesaritos and what-have-you from a Chipotle in Virginia. After conducting an investigation, the Mexican-American chain said that the outbreak came down to one store not adequately following sick day guidelines, something that some Internet users said is a widespread problem with the restaurant.

“We believe someone was working while sick,” Chipotle CEO Steve Ells told US News.

After the outbreak — and a separate alarming incident in which mice rained down from the ceiling at a different location — the company’s shares have taken a hit as people question whether or not grabbing a burrito will make them violently ill, notes CNBC.

“We have policies that preclude people from coming to work sick, and are one of few restaurant companies that provides paid sick days for our employees [including hourly employees],” Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold said in an email to CNBC.

Arnold added that Chipotle employees are now required to answer a few questions every day about whether or not they are feeling ill. If anybody has any symptoms, they are supposed to be sent home, he said.

But a number of Reddit users said that it’s commonplace for some locations to have a rain-or-shine policy when it comes to health.

“Two weeks ago [I] came to work, felt like I was going to puke, just felt awful,” one Chipotle employee at a different branch in Virginia said. “One of my managers told me if I don’t find someone to cover my shift, I’m going to have to stay. Mind you, my position was on line working with food.”

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Another said that their boss “heavily implied” that their job would not be waiting for them if they needed to take a sick day.

“I’ve since had one of my managers tell us that they only abide by the sick policy about 40 percent of the time,” that person added. “Apparently since the sick policy worked for two years [it’s] ‘no longer necessary’ to make sure sick employees stay home.”

However, CEO Ells told US News that following proper sick day protocol is “non-negotiable” and has a “zero-tolerance policy.”

Sources: CNBC, US News / Photo Credit: Mr.TinDC/Flickr

Tags: Chipotle, Chipotle food poisoning, Chipotle sick, Chipotle sick day policy, norovirus outbreak
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