Chipotle Slammed with Federal Subpoena Following Norovirus Outbreak
Following a norovirus outbreak that occurred over the summer in California, a federal subpoena has been filed against Chipotle. Chipotle is currently battling a PR nightmare after nearly 50 restaurants were closed and hundreds of people sickened following multiple foodborne illness outbreaks. The $8,000 federal subpoena was filed in December following an investigation being conducted by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California in conjunction with the Food and Drug Administration, according to Fox News.
According to the subpoena, Chipotle will be required to hand over a number of documents to supplement the investigation. The burrito chain maintains that the norovirus outbreak was an isolated incident and it has taken all measures necessary to rectify the situation and assure customers of top-notch food safety in the future.
Sales dropped 30 percent by December and the company predicts that sales will fall a further 14.6 percent in the coming year. The chain will also be spending between $14 and $15 million on cleaning up its act this year.
“It is not possible at this time to determine whether we will incur, or to reasonably estimate the amount of, any fines, penalties or further liabilities in connection with the investigation pursuant to which the subpoena was issued,” Chipotle said in the filing.
Chipotle is not responding to media requests for comment, but says that it will cooperate fully with the investigation.