Chipotle makes a lot of promises

Without a whole lot of substance.

CNBC, where business analysts who look like Louis C.K. like to yell like Lewis Black, asked Chipotle executives how they will change their business after five recent outbreaks. Their answer was: food safety is really, really important to us now.1024px-Chipotle_Mexican_Grill_logo.svg

“We want to show all of our customers that the industry standards that we had been employing before — which are considered great standards — were not good enough. They were not good enough because something like this could happen,” said founder and co-CEO Steve Ells.

“I will say though, that we can assure you today that there is no E. coli in Chipotle,” Ells said. “We have thoroughly tested our food, we have thoroughly tested our surfaces and we are confident that Chipotle is a safe place to eat.” He also confirmed that the company’s new safety measures will put Chipotle well ahead of industry standards.

To find out of the company has been punished enough, Cramer spoke with Ells and co-CEO Monty Moran.

To implement a rigorous safety protocol, the executive said the company is working with a leading epidemiology team to develop new safety systems. Chipotle is widely known for its integrity in food selection and culture. Cramer asked the Chipotle leaders whether eating with integrity comes at the price of safety?

“We do not believe there is anything less safe about eating that way, and we believe that what we need to do now is put that same innovation that we put toward food with integrity and that we put toward our very special people culture — we’ve got to put that same kind of innovation into food safety now,” Moran said.


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About Ben Chapman

Dr. Ben Chapman is an associate professor and food safety extension specialist at North Carolina State University. As a teenager, a Saturday afternoon viewing of the classic cable movie, Outbreak, sparked his interest in pathogens and public health. With the goal of less foodborne illness, his group designs, implements, and evaluates food safety strategies, messages, and media from farm-to-fork. Through reality-based research, Chapman investigates behaviors and creates interventions aimed at amateur and professional food handlers, managers, and organizational decision-makers; the gate keepers of safe food. Ben co-hosts a biweekly podcast called Food Safety Talk and tries to further engage folks online through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and, maybe not surprisingly, Pinterest. Follow on Twitter @benjaminchapman.