In a previous life I was the scientific advisor for the Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors.
We would meet a couple of times a year, and I would provide my food safety thoughts on what was going on at retail, but what struck me was that the first three hours of every meeting were like a self-help therapy session.
These heads of food safety at major Canadian retailers would bemoan their diminishing status at the corporate level: No one cares about food safety until there’s an outbreak. Twenty years later, the song remains the same.
Alexis Morillo of Delish writes that Chipotle workers claim that food safety practices are at risk at the fast casual restaurant due to managerial procedures that cause workers to “cut corners.”
A total of 47 current and former Chipotle workers from New York City locations came forward about the malpractice in a report to Business Insider. This news follows recent allegations that the company has been violating child labor laws.
In the report obtained by Business Insider, workers outlined concerns about the way things are done behind the scenes at Chipotle. It said that many incentives like pay bonuses let other responsibilities like cleanliness audits and food safety fall to the wayside.
Workers said in the report that working at Chipotle is “highly pressurized environment” with goals that include “minimizing labor costs.”
It was also said that managers are often told in advance when a restaurant will be inspected for cleanliness so they can be prepared. Meanwhile, when an inspection isn’t taking place the cleanliness standard is much more laid back. In the past, people have questioned Chipotle’s safety standards because of the E. Coli outbreak a couple years back. The chain also has an interesting sick day policy, where there are on call nurses for workers to check if they’re actually sick.
Chipotle said in a statement to Delish that the company is committed to safe food and a safe work environment and that the pay bonuses actually incentivize workers to be even more precise when following company policies.
The song remains the same.