Following another outbreak of E. coli, Chipotle is taking even more measures to assure that its food is safe to consume. According to the Associated Press, Chipotle, from now on, will tweak its cooking methods: Onions will be blanched and marinated in lemon and lime juice to kill off germs instead of served raw, raw chicken will be marinated in resealable plastic bags, and cilantro will be added to cooked rice to assure that possibly dangerous microbes would be killed off.Cheese will also arrive at the restaurant pre-shredded, while pork and barbacoa beef will be shipped in pre-sealed bags to Chipotle locations. Tomatoes and cilantro, likely the culprit of the two outbreaks, according to the CDC, will be thoroughly, washed, chopped, and tested at an outside location.
In short, most of the food preparation at your local Chipotle will not take place in-house as in the past.
These may sound like relatively small changes, but they mark a consequential turn of events for the fast casual chain, which had, up until recently been touted as one of the most transparent and “good for you” fast food options out there. Now, Chipotle has been coming up with new methods, from public media apologies to this current kitchen revamp, of restoring their customers’ faith, and stopping a downward spiral that has cost them 16 percent in sales and quickly sank their stocks.
Analysts predict that despite Chipotle’s quick response to remedy the disastrous outcome of three foodborne illness outbreaks in two months, that recovery, both financially and reputably, will be slow.