E. coli Outbreak May Be Over, but Troubles Remain for Chipotle

Federal criminal investigation has widened beyond a single California restaurant

You might not want to reach for that burrito just yet. Though the CDC announced Monday that the Chipotle E. coli outbreak is over, the chain’s troubles are far from resolved. A federal investigation, for which a subpoena was issued last month, has widened beyond a single restaurant in California, reports the Associated Press. The chain has been served another subpoena, requiring Chipotle to produce documents related to company-wide food safety dating back to the beginning of 2013.

Chipotle reported its fourth-quarter earnings yesterday, confirming a 14.6 percent drop in sales at established locations. According to the Associated Press, this is the company’s first sale drop since it went public a decade ago. Total revenue for the quarter fell 7 percent to $997.5 million, short of the $1.01 billion predicted by analysts. Profit fell by 44 percent to $67.9 million, or $2.17 per share, while analysts predicted $1.86 per share.  

The company hopes its multi-pronged recovery plan will bring its loyal customers back and attract new ones. It involves a new food safety protocol, increased store audits by both in-house management and third party inspectors, a $50 million marketing and promotion campaign, continued expansion of chain locations, and aggressive investments in staff and management, according to Eater.

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