Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Chipotle hit again by food safety violations

A Chipotle Mexican Grill in Seattle has been closed by health officials for repeated food safety violations.

Public Health-Seattle and King County said in a news release Thursday it closed the restaurant in the South Lake Union neighborhood for violations on three different visits.

An inspection report shows the violations stem from failing to keep ingredients hot enough, which officials say can contribute to foodborne illness.

Chipotle has had food-safety issues on both the West and East coast of the United States. Last week more than 160 students in Boston fell sick after dining at a Chipotle outlet. Novovirus was eventually identified as the culprit.

E. coli was the issue on the West coast where 43 outlets in Washington and Oregon closed.

It has a number of stores in Ontario and 1,700 world-wide, including Europe.

Throughout the food-safety issues, the chain continued to advertise and promote itself as a socially-responsible vendor better than fast-food competitors, such as McDonalds.

It has banned GMOs, has announced animal welfare standards such as refusing to buy pork if the sows were housed in gestation crates and eggs from hens housed in crates and said it won’t serve meats from farms that continue to use antibiotics.

Here's what Wikipedia says: The company has released a mission statement called Food with Integrity, which highlights its efforts in using organic ingredients,[7] and serves more naturally raised meat than any other restaurant chain

Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold told The Associated Press in an e-mail they are looking into the cause of the violation in Seattle and will address it.

Dr. Doug Powell, whose doctorate is in food safety communications, has been highly critical of Chipotle’s failure to implement effective food safety measures.