The popular Mexican food chain, Chipotle, is currently in deep trouble for their actions related to a recent outbreak of foodborne norovirus. In addition to criminal negligence investigations, the company is facing several lawsuits at once, including a class action suit that follows up on the criminal negligence charges, as well as allegations of sexual discrimination.
Chipotle is also currently facing accusations of covering up evidence related to the norovirus outbreak. According to the recent lawsuit filed against the company, the Simi Valley, CA location took measures to conceal evidence of the outbreak from reaching the public eye. There are reports of the kitchen managers showing symptoms of illness for two days before stopping work. When the store closed due to the potential outbreak, management claimed it was due to a staff shortage. Employees also allegedly disposed of all food and bleached clean all kitchen surfaces to eliminate any possible evidence of an outbreak. This went on to such an extreme degree that sick employees were being replaced by healthy ones from other restaurants. On top of this, Chipotle did not reach out to the county's health officials until several days after the outbreak happened. These painstaking efforts to hide something that was very clearly wrong with their restaurant may have been the cause of over 200 cases of illness.
A Chipotle official states that because of the Simi Valley location's actions, the company as a whole was unaware of any kind of potential outbreak, and could not go through their normal steps to combat any foodborne illnesses.
What You Need To Know
If you are a die-hard Chipotle lover, it may be best to avoid eating at their restaurants until they sort this out. Patronizing Chipotle may not even be possible for residents of the Pacific Northwest, as the chain has shut down all its locations in the region. The company plans on having a nationwide staff meeting at all locations on February 8 of this year to discuss the issues.
If any restaurant you enjoy has recently gone under suspicion of an outbreak, follow these tips:
- Stop eating there. This may seem like common sense, however some people insist on the strength of their stomachs. You may not have been exposed to any illness the first time, but the second time may not grace you with the same luck.
- See a doctor. If you have eaten at that restaurant within the past week, even if you are not symptomatic, you may want to check in with a health professional to be safe.
- Check news and consumer reports. If your favorite restaurant is under suspicion of an illness outbreak, check the news and any consumer reports to see what the progress and steps being taken are. It is important for consumers to stay informed.