‘No side effects or anything’ PR Chipotle doesn’t need and needs to stop ignoring

The Intertubes are full of conspiracy theories.

Harmless Harvest is the latest to go after me – because asking questions about a supposedly all-natural process that has prompted FDA concerns in terms of risk reduction is bullshit. Or the claims are.

chipotle.rest.inspect.bostonBut step right up, it’s all natural.

So is smallpox.

Chipotle has its own outliers.

There’s a story circulating that Chipotle’s E. coli O26 outbreak was planted by agribusiness upset that Chipotle wanted to go GMO-free;

John Geary of News Leader picks up on this theme, saying that the Bloomberg Business 4,000-word story about Chipotle and their current problems was little more than a desperate attempt at a smear campaign, likely driven by large corporate interests.

Geary says that an honest evaluation of Chipotle and the food poisoning concludes the current situation is hyped up and blown completely out of proportion. Chipotle sounds good to me.

Good luck with your diarrhea burrito.

And then the head of Boston’s restaurant inspection program, Commissioner William Christopher ate lunch with his chief of staff, Indira Alvarez, at the Cleveland Circle Chipotle location that got more than 100 people sick with norovirus earlier this month.

“They did a good job cleaning the place, and I want to let people know that I have confidence to go there and eat,” Christopher told the Boston Globe. “I just felt it was the right thing to do.”

“The food was wonderful,” he said. “There were no side effects or anything.”

Inspectors found that an employee had worked while sick and that meat was not heated adequately.


Rare burgers are not OK, whatever food porn says

Butcher and Meat Hook co-owner Tom Mylan tells Grub Street New York when you move to outlaw hamburgers because of E. coli, “it’s a pretty clear sign that your food system is broken and you really need to start doing some heavier lifting rather than just pass some asinine piece of legislation that penalizes restaurants and eaters.

“If there’s E. coli present in your hamburgers, you can legislate to cook that burger to death, and you’re moving to make food more mediocre in a way. But anything that’s handled by the same person who touched the meat before it went on the grill to become incinerated, anything else they come into contact with still stands the chance of becoming contaminated.

“… E. coli is everywhere. The real problem with it now is that producers feed their cattle things they shouldn’t eat, like corn, for example, that promotes excessive E. coli production. But the other thing that has implications for the future of humanity, really, is that these farm animals are getting subtherapeutic antibiotics, and that’s building up strains of antibiotic-resistant super-bacteria.”

Such fantasies are endemic in the food porn industry, where people pay more for less. Shiga-toxin producing E. coli, like the O157:H7 strain, occur naturally in ruminants, and there are hundreds of outbreaks to document this.

Any chef or self-proclaimed food activist that relies on the 1998 Cornell study that linked corn consumption in cattle to E. coli production to satiate their own conspiracy theories ain’t serving food to me or my kids.