Chipotle Scare

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Jordan Coley, Sports Editor

In the past month or so, many students of Yorba Linda High School have lost one of their favorite restaurants. Chipotle, while still open, is now not an option to many students. Recently, Chipotle suffered multiple problems regarding food safety. Dating all the way back to November, Chipotle began down the path to almost becoming non-existent. In November, Chipotle closed 43 of its restaurants. The mass closing was due to more than 20 people becoming sick. After investigation the outbreak, Chipotle determined that the cause was E.Coli.

The following month, 91 college students at Boston College were confirmed to have intestinal issues after eating at Chipotle. While it was never confirmed that the cause was E.Coli, Chipotle has had 52 confirmed cases of E.Coli nationwide. Chipotle, in response to the outbreaks, Chipotle release that they are taking “aggressive” steps towards fixing the problem.

More recently, Chipotle announced that they are closing their restaurants. On February 8th Chipotle will close for a few hours. Chipotle says the reason behind their restaurants closing is to hold a company-wide meeting to discuss food safety. The chain has already implemented a few changes.

—Cheese will now arrive in restaurants shredded.

—Ingredients like onions will be macerated with lemon or lime juice to kill germs.

—60 samples of every 2,000 pounds of steak will be tested before it’s sent to stores. A similar testing program will be implemented for chicken in coming weeks. Pork and barbacoa beef are already delivered cooked in sealed bags.

—Tomatoes, cilantro and other ingredients will be chopped in centralized locations, rather than in stores, so they can be tested. Chipotle has chopped most ingredients in their restaurants because they claim they taste better. However, Chipotle CEO commented to CNBC last week, “if I’m eating a burrito that had tomatoes that were chopped in a central kitchen in the salsa or one that was chopped in house, I probably couldn’t tell the difference.”

In the recent weeks, Chipotle’s stock has fallen significantly. At its lowest, their stock had dropped 46%. With this drop, it is predicted that there has been a 10.7 billion dollar market loss for the company.

Following the closing in February, Chipotle is expected to launch a campaign to regain the trust of their customers. They are expected to start airing commercials and ads to advertise that they are a revamped version of the old restaurant. In addition, corporate is going to start doubling the amount of free food they are allowed to give away. Trey Abernathy (11) says, “Free food might get me, and a lot of other people, to eat there again”.