Chipotle’s plans for success after e-coli terror

Madeline Wheeler

Never fear, consuming a Chipotle
burrito the size of a small child is no
longer suspected to be life-threatening.
Back in October when news
broke that the much-loved chain’s
goods were laced with dangerous
E-Coli, desperation of a potential
withdrawal set in. Junior Véronica
Fuentes was devastated when she
learned Chipotle was inconsumable
until the scare had passed.
“I love the food at Chipotle because
it reminds me of what I eat
back home in Costa Rica. I’m very
glad all is well with their meals,”
Fuentes said. The Center for Disease
Control and Prevention officially
sealed up the investigation of the
mysterious outbreak Monday, February
1. The source of the outbreak
is still stumping scientists, who say
that the source will most likely never
be discovered. Initially, health
inspectors visited the restaurant after
the illnesses were reported and
cited the company for violations in
pest control, sanitation, and maintenance,
according to the information
provided on
Chipotle fans took a break from
the chain’s locations
in California, Minnesota, New York,
Ohio, Oregon, Washington, Illinois,
Maryland and Pennsylvania after the
frightening announcement.
According to, it
is estimated that Chipotle’s total
net income dropped 44 percent and
their sales dropped 15 percent from
October to the end of 2015. Compare
that to their revenue at the
same time the year before–almost
10 percent higher than ever before.
The bad memories of food poisoning
can lead many to boycott the
source of their illness for months or
even years. Although all Chipotle
restaurants are supposedly
clear of any horrifying
bacteria, for many,
the fear remains.
According to The Denver Post, Chipotle
has been linked to two other
norovirus incidents that sickened
hundreds of people in the past.
In the initial, larger outbreak that covered
11 states, 55 people fell ill and 21
people were hospitalized. During
the smaller outbreak that spanned
three states, one of the five people
infected was hospitalized. Symptoms
included diarrhea and abdominal
pain, usually begin two to eight
days after a person has been exposed
to the bacteria and resolve within a
week. More severe cases could potentially
lead to kidney failure, but
no cases developed into such a critical
Chipotle has committed to making
major changes to its food preparation
and testing to improve safety
going forward. For example, the
company will be transitioning to a
new method of food preparation.
Tomatoes, cilantro and lettuce are
among the ingredients that will now
be prepared in the central kitchen
and shipped to restaurants in plastic
bags. Cooks will also take extra
measures to be rid of bacteria such
as dipping onions in boiling water
before they are chopped and adding
cilantro to hot rice to get rid of microbes.


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