INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- Every Chipotle in the nation will close for several hours on Monday for a staff meeting to discuss food safety.
The closure is in response to several disease outbreaks due to contaminated food. Last November, at least two people who ate at the Shawnee Chipotle became sick with E. coli. And from July to December, around 500 other Chipotle customers in eight other states also became sick with Salmonella, norovirus and E. coli – all due to contaminated food.
In order to make sure these kinds of outbreaks never happens again, Chipotle officials are holding a nationwide staff meeting Monday to discuss new food safety procedures.
First of all, there’s an improved DNA-based testing of all ingredients before they are shipped to the restaurants. The company is now offering paid sick leave to employees so they don’t come to work and infect customers. And they are now washing lettuce and tomatoes and shredding cheese in central kitchens instead of at each restaurant.
According to the CDC, the outbreaks appear to be over and all these new procedures are meant to prevent another outbreak from ever happening again.
Monday’s staff meeting is taking place at Chipotle’s Denver headquarters and is being broadcast to every store – every employee is expected to attend.
It will run until 3 p.m., then restaurants will reopen.