Editors note: This Chipotle story has been on going for several months and has included misinformation on social media and some main stream sources as well. Articles and commentary, for the most part, appear to have come right out of the PR Department of Monsanto or some other pro-GMO ‘front group’. The slant always is to minimize and/or demonize Chipotle for going non-GMO.
The Chipotle restaurants have gone out of their way and bent over backwards to give their customers Non-GMO ingredients that are stored and served in a ‘food safe’ manner. All 2,000 restaurants will close for a few hours tomorrow (Feb 8th) to hold food-safety meetings with employees. (TLB)
The E. coli outbreaks at Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants in the United States appear to be over, but investigators have been unable to trace the cause of the sickness, federal authorities said on Monday. [Feb 1]
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said they had investigated two outbreaks that occurred last year: one in 11 states that sickened 55 people and another that sickened five people in three states. Twenty-two people were admitted to hospitals. There were no deaths.
The C.D.C. said in a statement that a common meal or ingredient served at the restaurants was a likely source of the outbreaks, but investigators were unable to specify the food or ingredient responsible for the contamination.
“Most ill people in these outbreaks ate many of the same food items at a Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurant,” the statement said. “When a restaurant serves foods with several ingredients that are mixed or cooked together and then used in multiple menu items, it can be more difficult for epidemiologic studies to identify the specific ingredient that is contaminated.”
On Monday [Feb 1], the company’s stock price closed up more than 4 percent. The company was scheduled to hold an investors’ conference call on Tuesday to discuss Chipotle’s last-quarter earnings.
A Chipotle spokesman, Chris Arnold, said in a statement on Monday [Feb 1] that the company was pleased that the C.D.C. had concluded its investigation.
“Over the past few months we have taken significant steps to improve the safety of all of the food we serve, and we are confident that the changes we have made mean that every item on our menu is delicious and safe,” he said.
The first outbreak was detected in October by health officials in Washington State and Oregon, and then other people who fell ill in other states were identified through Dec. 1. The second outbreak, of a different E. coli strain, was reported in November in Kansas, North Dakota and Oklahoma.
Chipotle has been trying to recover from the contaminations, which caused some of its customers to shun the restaurants. The chain, which has more than 2,000 locations, said last month that it would shut all its stores for several hours on Feb. 8 to hold food-safety meetings with employees.
TLB commends NY Times.com for factual reporting of this story.