Chipotle in Serious Financial Trouble Steps Back From Food Safety Improvements
It’s been a grim year for Chipotle. In the wake of E. coli and norovirus scandals where dozens of customers fell ill, the former heavyweight champion of burritos now faces it first quarterly loss ever, according to new financial reports.
Last month, Chipotle said it would be performing DNA-based testing of many ingredients, in addition to basic food safety changes like preparing ingredients off-site. Now, according to insider sources, the company may be eliminating pathogen-testing in favor of a more affordable solution: Meat will instead arrive in vacuum-sealed bags to prevent contamination.
Chipotle has said that its sales are starting to recover, but the losses are still significant: Chipotle expects a loss this quarter at $1 or more per share, while same-store sales plummeted 26 percent over the past three months. Chipotle’s executives have also taken a severe pay cut to make up for the losses as a result of marketing, legal costs, and the new food safety changes.