Today at Chipotle Is Going to Be Interesting

February 8th 2016

Kyle Jaeger

If you were hoping to get your Chipotle on today, here's some important information to keep in mind. All of the restaurant chain's 1,900 locations will be temporarily closed for a company-wide meeting on food safety in the aftermath of last year's E. coli outbreak.


The burrito empire will be out of commission for four hours on Monday and staff members will take part in a meeting about revised practices for food preparation and health standards. Chipotle CEO Steve Ells will lead the meeting from the company's headquarters in Denver, Colorado, starting at 11 a.m. and ending at 3 p.m.

The E. coli outbreak left about 500 people sick last year — including the entire Boston College basketball team — and severely impacted the company's fourth quarter profits, which were down 44 percent compared to the previous year. As of February 1, however, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declared the outbreak officially over.

That was good news for Chipotle, but the company isn't quite out of the woods yet. In an effort to restore relations with its customers and prevent another outbreak, Chipotle plans to roll out a "farm-to-fork" food safety program, DNA testing of its products before they're shipped out to the restaurants, and new food preparation protocols.

"Those changes include washing and cutting tomatoes and romaine lettuce and shredding cheese in central kitchens instead of individual restaurants," CNN reports. "And the restaurants are now blanching avocados, onions and limes. They're are also implementing new ways of marinating chicken and steak."

The company is currently under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice for possible criminal activity.

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