U.S fast casual burrito restaurant chain Chipotle (pronounced chee-pot-lay) have enjoyed positive brand publicity for years on their stance on animal welfare, organic, and locally sourced food.
They are now struggling to repair their image in the face of their recent E. Coli outbreak, where 41 customers have suffered from the infection and 14 have been hospitalised. The outbreak has lead to the closure of 43 restaurants in Oregon and Washington state.
This won’t be the last time that such an outbreak happens, but nowadays, unlike times past, all major food borne infections gets reported to the health authorities by law. When that happens, the business loses control of the situation and the authorities take over.
How to avoid?
- Only buy reputable products from reputable sources. Avoid unknown substitutes or cheap alternatives. If unsure, ask for certification documents from the manufacturing source.
- Have a good working food HACCP system in place and review it regularly.
- Training, training, and more training. The basics of good hygiene cannot be taken for granted or assumed.