Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. has agreed to pay $25 million to settle criminal charges stemming from foodborne illness outbreaks at restaurants in four states that sickened more than 1,100 people between 2015 and 2018.
“Today’s hefty penalty, coupled with the tens of millions of dollars Chipotle has already spent upgrading its food safety program since 2015, should result in greater protection for Chipotle customers and remind other industry players to review and improve their own health and safety practices,” U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna for the Central District of California said in a statement released Tuesday by the Department of Justice.
A 2015 Boston restaurant incident sickened 141 people with norovirus after an ill employee was ordered to continue working after vomiting in the establishment, the department said. This employee helped fulfill a large order for a local college basketball team, spreading the virus to players.
Chipotle says it has revised its food safety policies.
“This settlement represents an acknowledgment of how seriously Chipotle takes food safety every day and is an opportunity to permanently turn the page on past events and focus on serving our customers real food made with real ingredients. they can taste with confidence,” said Brian Niccol. , Chairman and CEO of the company.
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