Chipotle Mexican Grill broke its silence this afternoon on the E.coli outbreak that’s been connected to eight of its restaurants in the Pacific Northwest, detailing what it’s done to rid 43 closed units there of the potentially lethal bacteria.
In a statement posted on the investors’ page of the chain’s website, the fast-casual operation noted that it has…
- Sanitized and deep-cleaned the shuttered units
- Conducted environmental testing within the stores
- Tested food from the restaurants and distribution centers serving the stores to see if traces of E.coli could be found
- Thrown out all foods and ingredients that were in the stores at the time the units were closed
- Batch-tested some ingredients in anticipation of re-opening
- Hired two third-party safety firms to monitor and verify the safety of the stores
- Participated fully in health authorities’ efforts to track down the source of the outbreak.
That effort is ongoing, Chipotle said.
Twenty-two consumers in Washington and Oregon have been confirmed as victims of an E.coli O157:H7 contamination. News reports indicate that 19 of them ate in one of eight Chipotle units.
Authorities have not yet confirmed that Chipotle was the source of the contamination, or what foods might have played been involved.
Chipotle issued a statement on the outbreak, and commented selectively via Twitter (including a response to a Restaurant Business story), but has not issued details about the state of the investigation and its efforts to safeguard customers.