Chipotle is facing more questions in the criminal investigation into its food poisoning problems

Chipotle's confronting another episode in a continuing criminal investigation.
Picture: Joe Raedle/Getty Pictures

Federal authorities have some critical concerns for Chipotle following the series endured yet another food poisoning outbreak at a Virginia restaurant that past month.

The burrito store shown in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Wednesday it had been served a federal grand jury subpoena a week as part of a continuing probe into the organization’s food safety practices.

“We mean to continue to fully cooperate in the investigation,” the company wrote in the document. “It isn’t possible at the time to determine whetherwe will incur , or to reasonably estimate the quantity of, any fines or penalties”

Regulators first established the criminal investigation in 2015 after the initial wave of food-borne illnesses sickened hundreds of customers across the nation. It’s being conducted as a joint operation involving a the U.S. Attorney’s office to get central California along with the Food and Drug Administration’s criminal investigations group.

Chipotle CEO Steve Ells maintained that the latest episode arose using a sick employee at the Sterling, Virginia store. Over 130 people are said to have fallen sick from that contamination.

Ells said the organization’s been doubling down on emphasizing food safety rules in response.

“We also made it clear to the entire business we have a zero-tolerance policy,” Ells informed investors at a telephone on Tuesday. “When followed, they work perfectly”

The county health department mentioned at least 2 of those infected have been diagnosed with norovirus exactly the same illness that affected one of those waves of sufferers at the business’s past spate of outbreaks just two years back. That contagion was traced back to a sick worker.

Regardless of the assurances of all Ells, the division said it hasn’t yet determined the particular source of the latest outbreak.

The rash of new sicknesses come as Chipotle was still digging itself out of this public perception hole brought on by its very last food scare. The episode was such a devastating stroke of bad luck that one industry consultant has hatched a conspiracy concept implying corporate undermine might be at play.

“It does beg the question: Just how can it be Chipotle was struck by Norovirus, Salmonella, and E.coli at various locations throughout the nation, in this order?” Independent adviser Aaron Allen wrote at a LinkedIn informative article.

Foul play not, Chipotle clearly has more explaining to do.

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