There Are Better Choices For Your Burrito Fix Than This Chain Slapped With Lawsuits For Child Labor And Health Violations
According to new reports Chipotle just got served with a heaping pile of the largest food safety fine ever paid in the U.S. Sans guacamole.
The fast-casual Mexican chain, started by Steve Ells, is being made to pay a record $25 million in fines for serving tainted food that left 1,100 people sick after the company admitted to poor safety practices. To avoid conviction, the chain has agreed to start a better food handling program.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the restaurant chain was charged with two counts of violating the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act by “adulterating food while it was held for sale after shipment in interstate commerce.”
Thanks to their mishandling over 1,100 people got sick as a result of the adulterated food from 2015 and 2018. The criminal charges are linked to outbreaks of norovirus in Chipotle restaurants Norovirus, not to be confused with Coronavirus, is a pathogen that can cause diarrhea and vomiting.
“Chipotle failed to ensure that its employees both understood and complied with its food safety protocols, resulting in hundreds of customers across the country getting sick,” the United States Attorney Nick Hanna explained in an interview. “Today’s steep penalty, coupled with the tens of millions of dollars Chipotle already has spent to upgrade its food safety program since 2015, should result in greater protections for Chipotle customers and remind others in the industry to review and improve their own health and safety practices.”
In a deferred prosecution agreement, the company reportedly admitted that at least five food safety incidents at various restaurants in the U.S. had taken place between 2015 and 2018, including incidents at restaurants in Los Angeles and Simi Valley. The company said the issues stemmed from low-level employees not following food safety policies.
But don’t feel bad for the company and it’s $25 million fine.
Ells, who founded the company in 1993, reportedly earned $33.5 million in 2018.
That’s right, feel bad for the taquerias and mom and pop spots shutting down during this time.
There are plenty of alternatives to ease your burrito craving than the chain which was also just fined $1.4 million for “an estimated 13,253 child labor violations and other state wage and hour law violations.” What’s more, it’s the right thing to do given how many small businesses are suffering during this time of uncertainty amidst the pandemic.
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