Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc.CMG seems to be winning the E. coli battle. The fast casual restaurant operator recently announced that it will reopen the 43 restaurants in the Seattle and Portland areas soon that were shuttered following an E. coli occurrence. On Nov 3, the fast casual chain closed these outlets as a safety measure due to the incident that was linked to eight restaurants in the states of Oregon and Washington.
The restaurants would be reopened soon and all the ingredients will be replaced. Also, fresh food products, raw meat and dairy products will be tested before being cooked. The company also confirmed that none of its employees in these restaurants had E. coli. The company has received nearly 900 results for food, restaurant surface and equipment tests, none of which showed any trace of E. coli. Chipotle also stated that it was conducting deep cleaning and sanitizing at the rest of its U.S. locations and collaborating with health officials to improve food-handling practices.
The fact that Chipotle came clean from the E. coli episode should reinforce its popularity especially among the health conscious customers. Notably, the company informs customers about serving meat raised responsibly, in addition to the calories served. In fact, earlier this year, Chipotle reportedly suspended the sale of pork at one-third of its restaurants in the U.S. as one of its suppliers failed to comply with the animal welfare standards set by the company. Chipotle found in a routine audit that the pigs were neither allowed to roam freely nor raised in deeply bedded barns. (Read: Chipotle Halts Pork Sales after Quality Issues with Supplier )
Chipotle currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
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