Chipotle Is Making Its Diners Sick … Again


By Cooking Panda

Well, a bunch more people have gotten sick after eating Chipotle.

A Chipotle restaurant in Sterling, Virginia, just outside of Washington, D.C., closed down on July 17 after a number of customers reported norovirus-like symptoms, including vomiting and diarrhea, reports The New York Times.

As an added precaution, the fast-casual Mexican-inspired store remained closed until the following day to allow for cleaning and employee monitoring, David Goodfriend, director of the Loudoun County Health Department in Virginia, told The Times. In the meantime, a stool sample was sent to a lab to test for norovirus.

“We are working with health authorities to understand what the cause may be and to resolve the situation as quickly as possible,” Jim Marsden, Chipotle’s executive director of food safety, told Business Insider. “The reported symptoms are consistent with norovirus. Norovirus does not come from our food supply, and it is safe to eat at Chipotle.”

Norovirus typically pops up from personal hygiene issues, such as an employee who didn’t wash their hands after using the restroom. It is the most common type of foodborne illness in the U.S. and causes more than 21 million cases per year.

A number of complaints on state that sick customers had symptoms like stomach pain, vomiting and fevers.

“Wife and I ate chicken bowls Friday night,” one such report says, according to Business Insider. “Puking brains out Saturday night and Sunday.”

Another said that at least one person was hospitalized for dehydration, pain, vomiting and diarrhea.

“This is the worst that I have ever seen,” the report says. “Severe food borne illnesses can cause long-term damage to the gastro-intestinal track. This was BAD!”

Chipotle was in the midst of a sales comeback after several foodborne illness outbreaks including e. coli, salmonella and norovirus wreaked havoc on the chain within a six-month time span in 2015, notes The Washington Post.

After closing more than 2,000 locations in February 2016 for food-safety training and subsequently putting out free offers and other marketing attempts to present the chain as clean and safe, Chipotle’s plummeting sales had finally began to creep back up.

We’ll see where it goes from here — all I know is that if they offer me free guac, I wouldn’t dream of turning it down.

Sources: Business Insider, New York Times, Washington Post / Photo Credit: Mr.TinDC/Flickr

Tags: Chipotle, Chipotle food poisoning, Chipotle outbreak, foodborne illness outbreak, norovirus
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Chipotle Is Struggling To Bounce Back After Foodborne Illness Outbreaks


By Cooking Panda

After experiencing numerous foodborne illness outbreaks, followed by an attempt to win back customers by giving away several million burritos, Chipotle Mexican Grill has not-so-surprisingly achieved its first-ever quarterly loss.

In the three months ending on March 31, Chipotle lost $26.4 million on a 23.4 percent decrease in revenue, and same-store sales dropped 29.7 percent. Investors are abandoning the chain as well, which pushed Chipotle shares down 4.8 percent.

According to The New York Post, the chain has had a shaky recovery from the e-coli and norovirus outbreaks experienced in numerous restaurants in 2015. As a result, a variety of customers, including its most regular patrons, are deciding to eat elsewhere.

“A lot of what we are aiming our efforts at are our top, loyal customers,” said Mark Crumpacker, chief development and creative officer. “Their frequency has declined.”

The amount of typical customers who have not visited Chipotle in three months has increased from 49 to 57 percent, according to Crumpacker.

By introducing new menu items and frequency reward programs, Chipotle is hopeful about its future and aims to convince both Wall Street analysts and customers that the chain has much to offer.

“Sales are so volatile, but I would not expect a loss in the second quarter,” said Chief Financial Officer John Hartung.

Source: New York Post / Photo credit: tacvbo/Flickr via Wikimedia Commons

Tags: Chipotle Mexican Grill, e-coli, foodborne illness outbreak, norovirus, quarter loss
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