December 4, 2015 — Chipotle Mexican Grill says it is committed to tightening food safety standards after an outbreak of E. coli sickened at least 52 customers in nine states.
The following updated case counts were released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) today: California (3), Illinois (1), Maryland (1), Minnesota (2), New York (1), Ohio (3), Oregon (13), Pennsylvania (1), and Washington state (27).
Chipotle hired Seattle-based IEH Laboratories to analyze its procedures and plans to implement all recommendations. According to a statement by the CEO of IEH Laboratories:
“While it is never possible to completely eliminate all risk, this program eliminates or mitigates risk to a level near zero, and will establish Chipotle as the industry leader in this area.”
New procedures in the food safety program:
- DNA-based tests to analyze the safety of produce before it is sent to restaurants
- Testing at the end of an ingredient’s shelf-life
- Additional scrutiny of suppliers to pursue “continuous improvements” throughout the supply chain
- Enhancing employee training procedures
The customers who got sick ate at Chipotle restaurants between October 13 and November 10.
No illnesses have been reported since mid-November, but additional cases may be reported as federal agencies receive data from local health departments. Thousands of food samples at Chipotle have shown no sign of E. coli and no ingredient or meal was ever conclusively linked to the outbreak.
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