Chipotle Agrees To $25 Million Food Poisoning Fine; People Keep Going There

Screenshot: iwaspoisoned.com

“Chipotle failed to ensure that its employees both understood and complied with its food safety protocols, resulting in hundreds of customers across the country getting sick.” – U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna

Chipotle agrees to record fine in food poisoning case, people keep going there anyway

Apr 21, 2020; updated Apr 22, 2020

By BRIAN MELLEY Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. agreed Tuesday to pay a record $25 million fine to resolve criminal charges that it served tainted food that sickened more than 1,100 people in the U.S. in outbreaks from 2015 to 2018 and sent sales plunging.

...article continued below
- Advertisement -

The fast-food company was charged in Los Angeles federal court with two counts of violating the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act by serving adulterated food that caused four outbreaks of norovirus, which causes diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal cramps, and a food poisoning incident.

The company admitted that poor safety practices, such as not keeping food at proper temperatures to prevent pathogen growth, sickened customers in Los Angeles and nearby Simi Valley, as well as Boston, Sterling, Virginia, and Powell, Ohio.

Screenshot: iwaspoisoned.com

The string of outbreaks, which began in August 2015 in Simi Valley, came about two months before an E. coli outbreak at Chipotle spread to multiple states that temporarily closed dozens of restaurants and hurt sales as other food scares emerged. The criminal case was not related to E. coli.

The Newport Beach, California-based company entered into a deferred prosecution agreement that will allow it to avoid conviction by continuing to improve its food safety program, following other rules and paying the record-setting fine for a food safety case, federal prosecutors said.

...article continued below
- Advertisement -

Subway Topping Subject Of Federal Investigation

U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna said in a statement:

“Chipotle failed to ensure that its employees both understood and complied with its food safety protocols, resulting in hundreds of customers across the country getting sick. Today’s steep penalty, coupled with the tens of millions of dollars Chipotle already has spent to upgrade its food safety program since 2015, should result in greater protections for Chipotle customers and remind others in the industry to review and improve their own health and safety practices.”

The company said in a statement that it would continue improving food safety practices that include reducing the number of employees who touch food, testing the quality of raw ingredients and tracing the movement of food supplies to determine where a problem may have occurred.

“This settlement represents an acknowledgment of how seriously Chipotle takes food safety every day and is an opportunity to definitively turn the page on past events,” Brian Niccol, chairman and chief executive officer, said.

Outbreaks of norovirus, which is spread easily by people mishandling food, began in Simi Valley when 234 Chipotle customers and employees became ill.

An employee who vomited was sent home, but the illness was not reported internally, as required, and food safety procedures weren’t implemented until two days later after multiple customers reported becoming ill.

In December 2015, 141 people reported norovirus type illnesses after visiting a Chipotle restaurant in Boston.

Prosecutors said that outbreak likely began Dec. 3 after an apprentice manager was ordered by a regional manager to continue working after he said he vomited on the job. The incident wasn’t reported to company safety officials.

Screenshot: iwaspoisoned.com

“Black People Are Not Allowed” – McDonald’s In China

After taking a sick day, the apprentice returned to work and packaged a catering order for the Boston College basketball team. Several players subsequently got sick.

An investigation by the Food and Drug Administration found numerous incidents at other Chipotle restaurants where employees vomited at work, but didn’t go home in violation of the company’s policies, according to court documents. Some former employees said they felt pressured to work when they were sick.

The company apologized for sickening customers in newspaper ads at the end of 2015 and again in 2016. One of its executives acknowledged that people were afraid of their food.

The company then had two norovirus outbreaks in 2017 — one that sickened 135 in Sterling, Virginia, in July and another that made 28 people, including 11 employees, ill in Los Angeles in December.

In July 2018, nearly 650 people got food poisoning after dining at a Chipotle restaurant in Powell, Ohio. The outbreak that caused diarrhea and abdominal pain was tied to bacteria that proliferates when food is not kept at proper temperatures, prosecutors said.

Shares in Chipotle fell nearly 3% to close Tuesday at $786.69, then rebounded strongly on Wednesday to Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., up 12% to $882.26.

The chain reported a surge in online orders and beat Wall Street’s first-quarter profit forecasts. | AP Business Writer Dee-Ann Durbin contributed to this story from Detroit.

Read many more food poisoning reports from Chipotle customers at iwaspoisoned.com

ALSO ON HEADLINE HEALTH TODAY: COVID-19 Denier DIES Of It | Farmers ‘Cull’ Healthy Piglets | Cleaning Craze Is Sickening Kids

- Advertisement -


Unvaxxed Sailors Face “Serious Consequences”

The Navy said Thursday that those who don't get an approved exemption by the deadline "will receive no lower than a general discharge under honorable conditions" and that "this type of discharge could result in the loss of some veterans’ benefits."

COVID Cases Still Rising In 5 States

THE HILL – Cases of COVID-19 are declining across the country, with 90 percent of states seeing numbers either sustained or going down over...

Bill Clinton Hospitalized With Sepsis

Former President Bill Clinton was admitted to a Southern California hospital with an infection but is "on the mend," his spokesman said.

New Sex Charges Against ‘Predator’ Bill Cosby

"The Pennsylvania Supreme Court let a predator back on the streets." – Cosby accuser Lili Bernard

Animal Rights Law Lays An Egg

Egg-laying hens are required to have 1 and 1/2 square feet of floor space under a law that was to become effective this month. But it's become clear that few egg producers can meet the Massachusetts standard.

Which COVID Vaccine Boosters Work Best?

A study by the National Institutes of Health this week suggests people who got the J&J vaccine as their initial vaccination against the coronavirus may get their best protection from choosing an mRNA vaccine as the booster.

Unvaxxed United Employees Win Reprieve

A federal judge has extended a ban on United Airlines putting employees on unpaid leave for seeking a medical or religious exemption from the airline's requirement to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Walgreen’s Accidentally Injects Tots With Covid Vaccine

Two children were mistakenly given the Covid-19 vaccine instead of a flu shot a week ago at their local pharmacy -- and are now dealing with some adverse symptoms.

Biden Pushes Largest Permanent Food Stamp Increase Ever

FOUNDATION FOR ECONOMIC EDUCATION – The Biden administration has just introduced the largest increase in the history of the food stamp program (now SNAP, for...

Biden/Pelosi Covid Recovery Spending Plan Fails

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi could have been speaking for the majority of Democrats in Washington when she said on Tuesday that she was “very disappointed” that President Biden’s domestic agenda will have to be pared down because of opposition from Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona.
- Advertisement -