Press enter or return to search.


Food Without Integrity: Chipotle’s Infamous 2015 Continues into the New Year

Chipotle’s notorious end to 2015 has carried over to the start of 2016. The Mexican restaurant chain has been hit with a federal grand jury subpoena for an outbreak of norovirus in some of its California locations. The subpoena was revealed last Wednesday, January 6, in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. The investigation will be performed by the US Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California in conjunction with the FDA (Food and Drug Administration).

This investigation is just the latest in a long line of bad news that has come out of Chipotle in the past six months. The chain is reeling after several outbreaks of various foodborne illnesses in its many locations across the country.

Problems started in late 2015 when people began boycotting Chipotle franchises after receiving news of a devastating E. Coli outbreak that sickened dozens of customers in nine different states, Ohio being one of the impacted.

As if the large E. Coli scandal wasn’t enough, a norovirus outbreak that was traced to a Chipotle franchise in Boston sickened more than 120 college students. A similar norovirus spate caused a Chipotle franchise is Simi Valley, California, to temporarily close after dozens of customers and 18 employees reported symptoms of the virus.

And yet another foodborne illness, salmonella, reared its ugly head in Minnesota. Last August, Minnesota Health Officials diagnosed an outbreak of salmonella after receiving reports from customers of over 17 different Minnesota Chipotle franchises.

Destroyed as of now is much of Chipotle’s built-up good will with its consumer base. The SEC showed that Chipotle’s sales nosedived a whopping 30% in December alone. Its stock (CMG) experienced a similar fall-off, losing close to 40% of its value in the past five months. For a company that looked infallible as recently as August, this barrage of bad news is surprising to many.

Chipotle would certainly like to forget its disastrous 2015 in which its reputation as a safe, healthy fast food alternative was tarnished.

But for now, this falling burrito continues its rapid descent.

Written by Tristan Rhee’17 and Esther Lawrence’18



Comments are closed.