Chipotle’s Mounting Woes Now Include a Federal Criminal Investigation

Discussion in 'The Bar' started by dawg, Jan 13, 2016.

  1. dawg

    dawg In The Dog House Staff Member

    Reputations:
    542,032
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    Messages:
    119,658
    Likes Received:
    91,128
    WireAP_6de7f49e5a0b44c8b1610210007abeca_16x9_1600.jpg

    Chipotle said it has been subpoenaed as part of a federal criminal investigation and that sales plummeted 30 percent in December after a series of food scares at its restaurants.

    The company said in a regulatory filing it was asked to produce a broad range of documents tied to a norovirus outbreak this summer at its restaurant in Simi Valley, California, but declined to provide further details.

    It said the investigation does not involve a more recent E. coli outbreak tied to its restaurants or a separate norovirus outbreak in Boston.

    The investigation is being conducted by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California with the Food and Drug Administration's Office of Criminal Investigations, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Wednesday.

    Representatives for the U.S. Attorney's office and the FDA declined to comment.

    The disclosure of the investigation comes as Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. reels from E. coli outbreaks in late October and November, which were followed by the sickening of customers at a restaurant in Boston in early December. Those cases received far more national media attention than the California incident, and the company's sales have since plunged.

    Sales fell 14.6 percent in the fourth quarter, marking the first decline for the Denver company since it went public in 2006.

    Last month, Chipotle also said it could no longer reasonably predict sales trends given the food scares and retracted its forecast for 2016.

    In its regulatory filing Wednesday, the company said it could not determine or predict the amount of any "fines, penalties or further liabilities" it might face in connection with the federal investigation.

    A Chipotle spokesman, Chris Arnold, said the company intends to cooperate fully with the investigation.

    Doug Beach, a manager of the food program at Ventura County's Environmental Health Division, said the FDA approached the county about its local investigation in September or October, then followed up with a phone call with the U.S. Attorney's office in October or November.

    Beach said the U.S. Attorney's office then requested the county's records on the Chipotle case.

    "That was a first for us," Beach said in a phone interview.

    Beach also noted that Chipotle had not contacted the county about the illnesses until Saturday Aug. 21, after it had shut down the restaurant in Simi Valley for sanitation and reopened it. Beach said he believed the company was aware of sick employees the previous Tuesday.

    According to a county inspection report, the area manager for Chipotle said the company got its first customer complaint about an illness on Aug. 20.

    The emergence of a criminal investigation after a norovirus outbreak is unusual, said Bill Marler, a food safety lawyer representing Chipotle customers who were sickened in Simi Valley.

    Marler said he didn't understand why the U.S. Attorney's office would have jurisdiction over an outbreak that was caused by a sick worker at a single restaurant. He noted that the FDA would normally not get involved in such cases.

    "I'm scratching my head about it," he said.

    Stuart Pape, an attorney at Polsinelli who specializes in food regulatory matters, noted Chipotle is under heightened scrutiny as a result of its string of food scares.

    "They've got the FDA all over them, they've got the CDC all over them, and now they've got the Justice Department all over them," Pape said.

    To rehabilitate its image, Chipotle has taken out full-page ads apologizing to customers in dozens of newspapers around the country. It also vowed changes to step up food safety at its restaurants, in part by tweaking its cooking methods and increasing testing of meat and produce.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory/criminal-investigation-underway-chipotle-36115506
     
  2. Mike

    Mike 'Merica Gold

    Reputations:
    43,771
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2012
    Messages:
    16,421
    Likes Received:
    10,280
    Had chipotle yesterday.
     
    keywordpk, Ridic and IfTheyOnlyKnew like this.
  3. Gitfiddle

    Gitfiddle Live Deliciously

    Reputations:
    133,213
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2012
    Messages:
    31,616
    Likes Received:
    26,979
    [​IMG]
     
  4. dawg

    dawg In The Dog House Staff Member

    Reputations:
    542,032
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    Messages:
    119,658
    Likes Received:
    91,128
    You like living dangerously
     
    IfTheyOnlyKnew and DarkFriday like this.
  5. Schmoopy

    Schmoopy Shit Mult Hunter

    Reputations:
    216,454
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    Messages:
    211,015
    Likes Received:
    33,726
    I've never eaten there and I never will.
     
    babybear, O Face, Salmo and 2 others like this.
  6. Schmoopy

    Schmoopy Shit Mult Hunter

    Reputations:
    216,454
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    Messages:
    211,015
    Likes Received:
    33,726
    Chipotle is Mexican for E.coli. Duh.
     
  7. crazypreacher

    crazypreacher Hey yo

    Reputations:
    224,692
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2010
    Messages:
    47,251
    Likes Received:
    42,749
    The ceo was on "Undercover Boss." Kind of a dick.
     
    DarkFriday likes this.
  8. DarkFriday

    DarkFriday Fired as a MOD...Twice. Gold

    Reputations:
    723,654
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2011
    Messages:
    172,741
    Likes Received:
    88,097
    :winner:
     
  9. crazypreacher

    crazypreacher Hey yo

    Reputations:
    224,692
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2010
    Messages:
    47,251
    Likes Received:
    42,749
    Smoked jalapeno in adobo sauce.
    :coffee:
     
  10. ice cream

    ice cream Well-Known Member

    Reputations:
    17,405
    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2011
    Messages:
    23,103
    Likes Received:
    4,736
    ate there once didnt really like it
    assembly line of people
     
  11. ppm

    ppm Well-Known Member

    Reputations:
    64,006
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2014
    Messages:
    14,804
    Likes Received:
    12,155
  12. Chigs

    Chigs The finest in the Nation VIP

    Reputations:
    102,292
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2012
    Messages:
    16,092
    Likes Received:
    13,887
    I assume if you go on that show, you're sales are hurting a bit anyways.
     
  13. Anfkid

    Anfkid Blue Banner Mafia Staff Member

    Reputations:
    395,621
    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2012
    Messages:
    60,202
    Likes Received:
    55,523
    It kinda requires leaving the house you shut in lookin gorilla. :rolleyes:
     
  14. crazypreacher

    crazypreacher Hey yo

    Reputations:
    224,692
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2010
    Messages:
    47,251
    Likes Received:
    42,749
    Thinking back, you're probably right.
     
  15. Chigs

    Chigs The finest in the Nation VIP

    Reputations:
    102,292
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2012
    Messages:
    16,092
    Likes Received:
    13,887
    I actually work construction for quite a bit of franchises (not them), and it seems their business model isn't as followed as it used to be
     
  16. Chigs

    Chigs The finest in the Nation VIP

    Reputations:
    102,292
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2012
    Messages:
    16,092
    Likes Received:
    13,887
    This actually may not be completely true...they're still a powerhouse. But they are hardly innovative as they once were
     
  17. Ridic

    Ridic Too ridic to quit Banned User

    Reputations:
    39,681
    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    10,646
    Likes Received:
    6,962
    Me too! :lo5:

    Imo, this is the best time to eat there.
     
    BrulesRules likes this.
  18. keywordpk

    keywordpk Perpetual Geek Gold

    Reputations:
    155,138
    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    35,533
    Likes Received:
    3,641
    I've eaten it several times since this started with no issues at all.
     
    O Face, BrulesRules and Mike like this.
  19. BrulesRules

    BrulesRules Just grab 'em in the biscuits VIP

    Reputations:
    352,080
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2012
    Messages:
    134,061
    Likes Received:
    60,661
    Give me ecoli but you can't take my chipotle out of my cold dead hands!!!
     
  20. BrulesRules

    BrulesRules Just grab 'em in the biscuits VIP

    Reputations:
    352,080
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2012
    Messages:
    134,061
    Likes Received:
    60,661
    Never gotten sick from Chipotle, but Panera bread on the other hand....
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2016