Chipotle has likely seen better days. Not only have they been plagued by a series of food poisoning outbreaks over the past few months, they can’t seem to make them stop. Just earlier in the week, more outbreaks were reported in several states. It’s a real issue that is forcing the restaurant chain to rethink how they prepare their food.
According to the AP, all of the food prep is being overhauled from start to finish. Chicken is being marinated in resealable bags as opposed to bowls (really?), onions will be dipped in boiling water before they are chopped, and the bodies of the dead will be burned on the edge of town. That last part might be how to deal with plague victims, but the laundry list that Chipotle has put out actually seems to be taking similar drastic measures:
Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold said many of changes will be implemented in coming weeks, but that the company doesn’t expect the taste of its food to suffer. Among the tweaks the company is making:
—Cheese will now arrive in restaurants shredded.
—Ingredients like onions will be macerated with lemon or lime juice to kill germs.
—60 samples of every 2,000 pounds of steak will be tested before it’s sent to stores. A similar testing program will be implemented for chicken in coming weeks. Pork and barbacoa beef are already delivered cooked in sealed bags.
—Tomatoes, cilantro and other ingredients will be chopped in centralized locations, rather than in stores, so they can be tested. Chipotle has said in the past that tomatoes taste better when freshly diced in restaurants. After the outbreak, Chipotle co-CEO Steve Ells changed tunes: “If I’m eating a burrito that had tomatoes that were chopped in a central kitchen in the salsa or one that was chopped in house, I probably couldn’t tell the difference,”
The report notes that onions and other veggies will be chopped on site, but the boiling method coupled with the lemon/lime bath is meant to kill the germs. Hard to say if this will solve the issues, but it should be a long time before the restaurant is back up to the levels it saw before this outbreak.
As noted in the AP article over at Huffington Post, it isn’t on the level of Taco Bell’s issue with rats on video or rumors of low grade meat, but it is serious. And there is no real timeline for recovery. The restaurant is taking strides — even if the food is apparently not that good anyway.
(Via Huffington Post / AP)