Chipotle Food Safety Concerns Continue — Rodents Scurry About
A disturbing video of several rodents crawling around a Chipotle Mexican Grill in the Dallas, Texas, area went viral about three weeks ago. In the video, diners document a mouse scurrying about in the open. Three other rodents were taped near a door, one lying lifeless on the hardwood, and one actually climbing a wall. The video is released amid already damaging concerns regarding the safety of dining at the once-popular eatery.
Chipotle has been hit hard over the past several months with claims of back wages not being paid to employees working overtime and food safety issues. One diner indicated that, during lunch, a rat fell through the roof. A Denver-based location also noted a few mice that had entered a gap in the building. It has since been repaired, according to a company spokesperson.
Chipotle closed the location in Dallas’ historic West End District last week and, according to spokesperson Quinn Kelsey, officials are investigating the construction of the building, established over a century ago. Kelsey said, “We have temporarily closed the Chipotle restaurant in Dallas’ historic West End District at 208 North Market Street so we can continue to thoroughly assess the construction of this 100-year-old building. Employees have been given the option to relocate to nearby Chipotle locations while our teams are evaluating the building. We regret any inconvenience and will reopen only when we are certain the building meets all Chipotle standards for operation.”
Chipotle was forced to close its Sterling, Virginia, location last month after reports of dozens of diners falling ill to a norovirus outbreak. Federal prosecutors subpoenaed the location as part of an ongoing criminal investigation initiated by the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Central District of California who investigated salmonella, norovirus and E. Coli outbreaks at outlets back in 2015 which caused numerous people to get sick across multiple states, namely Massachusetts, California, Virginia, and Texas.
The company had reported the norovirus was a fluke and spread after an employee was sick on the job. However, patrons and employees, already leery about dining at Chipotle, reported further food safety concerns, which the chain indicated it would address. Evidently, to address the concerns, the restaurant had planned to retrain its kitchen crews on the importance of food safety and of using precautions at all times.
Chipotle has had a tough time convincing patrons its food is safe to eat over the past three years, after the initial outbreak that had caused more than 100 people to get sick, especially with so many disgruntled employees fighting over unpaid overtime and taking heat for spreading germs. The chain has been accused of not paying overtime to staff who work more than 40 hours a week, earning under $47,476 annually. The initial outbreak prompted a four-hour nationwide shutdown of all locations for an employee cleaning course. However, with rodents scurrying about, the precautionary measures these employees take in preparing dishes remain questionable.
There are more than 2,200 Chipotle locations across the U.S. Shares of the Mexican eatery’s stock continue to tank as a result of its legal woes and it appears as if Chipotle may never see the light at the end of the tunnel.