Earlier this month, one sick Virginia Chipotle employee going into work resulted in more than 130 people contracting food poisoning. The chain was just beginning to recover from its horrific foodborne illness outbreak a couple years ago, and this new outbreak (and a poorly-timed discovery of a mouse infestation) sent its reputation — and its stock price — back into the toilet, with more than $1 billion in value wiped out over the weekend. Now the company is dealing with even more bad news, revealing yesterday that federal regulators have issued a grand jury subpoena as part of their ongoing investigation of the company’s food safety practices.
A joint operation between the U.S. Attorney’s office for central California and the Food and Drug Administration’s investigative team, the investigation was launched in 2015 at the height of the original foodborne illness outbreak. The newest development, a federal grand jury subpoena, was revealed on July 26 in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company is also being sued by its shareholders, as well as two of the recently sickened customers.
"We intend to continue to fully cooperate in the investigation," Chipotle wrote. "It is not possible at this time to determine whether we will incur, or to reasonably estimate the amount of, any fines or penalties." The company also admitted that it hadn’t yet conclusively determined the most recent outbreak’s source.
But regardless of the investigation, the company is still forging ahead with its plans for the future. It’s planning on rolling out queso dip within the next couple months, and it’ll be opening its first drive-thru at an Ohio location. For more Chipotle facts, click here.