Chipotle Hit with Subpoena in Federal Criminal Investigation over Norovirus




Chipotle Mexican Grill has received a subpoena from the federal grand jury as part of an ongoing criminal investigation linked to a hazardous norovirus outburst last summer at one of their Californian restaurants. This is what the company has revealed in a public announcement published a day ago.

They have actually received the subpoena about 30 days ago. The subpoena calls for the production and distribution of a huge range of documents related to their restaurant located in Simi Valley. This investigation is managed by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Californian central district in cooperation with the FDA.

Chipotle Mexican Grill’s work is questioned by many people after the outburst of Escherichia Coli about 3 months ago and the norovirus outburst in their restaurant in Boston a month ago. However, these dangerous situations were more interesting for the mass media compared to the norovirus outburst in California.

According to the company, their sales have dropped by an amazing 30% last month. Chipotle management is prepared for a 15% drop at its most popular locations for the last quarter of 2015. This will be the first time Chipotle to experience a decline in its history.

For those who didn’t know, norovirus can be passed from an infected individual, touching surfaces contaminated with norovirus, and consuming contaminated water or food. This information was shared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. What is even worse is that the virus is extremely contagious and can grow and spread fast, especially in areas like cruise ships and daycare centers. Between 20 and 21 million people are affected by this virus each year.

The CDCP (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has informed the public that the outburst of Escherichia Coli linked to Chipotle restaurants has affected more than 50 people in 9 states. The outburst started in Wahington and Oregon at the end of October 2015. It is good to mention that Chipotle Mexican Grill has 1900 locations and most of them can be found in the United States.

Chris Arnold, Chipotle’s spokesman, shared an email with the public in which he claims that the company is not in a process of discussion related to the pending litigation, but that Chipotle is completely cooperative when it comes to the investigation.

In order to improve their image, Chipotle has issued full-page advertisements in which they apologize to their loyal customers. The ads were published in the most popular newspapers in every state. They have also informed the public that they are increasing food safety standards.

Via Reuters

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