Another blow for Chipotle

I’m sure we’ve all seen and heard about the problems Chipotle has been having over the last year or so.  Recall that Chipotle had outbreaks of E. coli in 9 states and throughout numerous restaurants that sickened over 60 people.  Well in an effort to save face and shift blame, its lawyers, in their infinite wisdom, blamed the CDC for “public panic” during the E. coli outbreak.

Hmmmmmm, ok, let’s go with this notion for a second.  Chipotle’s attorneys s sent a complaint letter “demanding the agency scale back the dangers it linked to eating Chipotle’s food.  It didn’t seem to work, the CDC responded with a letter of its own that’s just now being made public.  Chipotle decided not to fight the ruling, which I guess demonstrates that they capitulated and have put all their eggs, or should I say burritos, in one basket, hoping giving away free burritos in a loyalty program will woo customers back.

Chipotle 1

Twist-tie that almost choked me

As if it wasn’t bad enough, right about the time the E. coli outbreak started, I was eating a Chipotle chicken bowl with my step-daughter (who happened to be a huge Chipotle fan), notice I used past tense in the phrase;  and much to my surprise after almost finishing my meal, I began to choke.  I couldn’t tell what was in my throat but it felt like something plastic and elongated.  I stood up and immediately began to feel my airway closing and sensed that I was sweating profusely.  Stay calm I was telling myself.  I began trying to put my fingers down my throat and try to pull out whatever was obstructing my airway.

 

What could it be, what’s going on, stay calm Alex.  Finally, she looked inside my agape mouth and reached in and barely grabbed onto what turned out to be a twist-tie.  It’s no wonder that an E. coli outbreak spread over dozens of stores throughout nine states.  And the fact that your stock has plummeted.  BTW the manager of the store came over and asked if I was OK and that was all!  Really!  Having owned several franchises myself, this would be the last way I would have taught my employees to handle a situation as serious as this.  It was completely intact and stretched out.

Chipotle 2

Twist-tie moments after it was pulled from my throat

Really?  This is your quality control, that now foreign objects are making it into your food?I can tell you that I personally will never eat at Chipotle again and can only imagine those that contracted E. coli from Chipotle feel the same.  You know the old adage “build a thousand bridges and you’re known as bridge builder”, have one E.coli outbreak and act like a petulant child trying to shift blame and you’re known as “that E. coli store.”

You can follow Alex Popovic on Twitter or Instagram

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