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Chipotle subpoenaed in federal investigation

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A federal grand jury has subpoenaed Chipotle Mexican Grill as part of a criminal investigation into an August norovirus incident at a Simi Valley, Calif., restaurant, the burrito chain said in a filing Wednesday.

Chipotle said it intends to cooperate fully with the investigation—which is being conducted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California in conjunction with the FDA—and noted that it does not yet know what fines or penalties it may incur as a result.

In the filing, the chain said it expects comp sales to fall 14.6 percent during the fourth quarter, following a rash of widely publicized food-safety incidents, including an E.coli outbreak that spanned multiple states and a separate norovirus epidemic at a Boston location.

Same-store sales dipped 30 percent during the full month of December, Chipotle said.

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