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USA Today reports that Chipotle, facing yet another food safety crisis with the sickening of almost 650 customers who dined at one of its restaurants, in Powell, Ohio., said that it will retrain all of its workers nationwide in proper food safety techniques.

It is just a couple of years ago that Chipotle reworked all of its food safety procedures to address multiple food safety issues that cost it enormous brand equity.

CEO Brian Niccol put out the following statement: “Chipotle has a zero-tolerance policy for any violations of our stringent food safety standards and we are committed to doing all we can to ensure it does not happen again. Once we identified this incident, we acted quickly to close the Powell restaurant and implemented our food safety response protocols that include total replacement of all food inventory and complete cleaning and sanitization of the restaurant.”

Health officials, while unable to say specifically what caused the new problems, have been able to ascertain that one thing the sickened customers had in common was the presence of Clostridium perfringens, described as "a foodborne disease that occurs when food is left at an unsafe temperature.”
KC's View:
Been down this road before. Last time Chipotle had food safety issues, I decided to stop eating there, and I haven’t been back. These new issues don’t do anything to assuage my concerns.

The question is how many hits like this Chipotle can afford. I’m not sure what they can do beyond what has been done, but clearly there is a structural problem that needs to be addressed.