Many Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants closed for several hours Monday to hold a nationwide all-staff meeting on food safety.
This was a result of the E. coli, Salmonella and norovirus outbreaks that have infected customers in various states.
According to Newsweek.com, a total of 188 people have contracted foodborne illnesses and 20 have been hospitalized in California, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Washington.
Chipotle officials Steve Ells and Mark Crumpacker conducted the meeting via satellite feed. They began by thanking the company's roughly 60,000 employees for their efforts in addressing the food borne illness.
“We're going to let all of our folks know about how this happened, and, in detail, all the steps that we're taking to ensure that it won't happen again," Ells told USAToday.com at the investor conference. "It's going to be a great rally."
To achieve their goal of establishing leadership in food safety, Chipotle collaborated with pre-eminent food safety experts to design a comprehensive food safety program that reduces risks on farms throughout the supply chain and in restaurants.
The process began with a “farm-to-fork” risk assessment of every ingredient and all restaurant protocols and procedures.
Cyandra Younger, Tennessee Street Chipotle employee, stands behind the company and is confident that the restaurant is handling the problem.
“Our managers are fully aware of what’s going on and for us to be able to sit and listen to Mark and Steve talk to us and answer our questions via live streaming was really helpful,” Younger said.
Younger also mentioned that she eats chipotle whenever she works and no one has gotten sick or made a complaint at her restaurant.
Essence Collier, second-year Florida A&M University biology student from Orlando, is still unsure about eating chipotle.
“I ate chipotle once after the first incident was reported and then I stopped,” Collier said. “They informed us that they would create precautions to better the food, but I haven’t seen any changes; it’s the same thing to me.”
Jamarious Smith, third-year FAMU architect student from Brunswick, Ga., felt this situation is common and all restaurants should take the necessary steps to ensure their food is safe.
“I feel like this is just like any other restaurant that serves meat or anything like that, you always have to be aware of the way your food is prepared,” Smith said. “This could have happened anywhere.”
Ells said he’s confident Chipotle will bounce back from the E. coli scare.
“I’m confident we’ll recover from this and win back our customers,” Ells told USAToday.com
For more information about chipotle and they safety measures they are taking to insure the safety of their food, visit Chipotle.com.