By Nick Visser
Chipotle will close all of its locations during lunch on Monday for a company-wide meeting on food safety, among other topics. All 1,900 stores will stay closed for around four hours before opening at 3 p.m. local time.
We’re having a national employee meeting on 2/8 to discuss recent and future food safety changes. All US locations will be closed until 3pm.
— Chipotle (@ChipotleTweets) January 15, 2016
The company is holding a “national team meeting” to discuss food safety changes, and CEO Steve Ells will be on hand to answer any questions from employees.
The burrito giant has faced several high-profile food safety issues over the past year, including an E. coli outbreak that sickened 55 people in nearly a dozen states. Other Chipotle locations have been hit with Salmonella and norovirus.
In response, the company will institute new washing procedures for lettuce and tomatoes and will blanch some ingredients. Other food items, including chopped tomatoes and grated cheese, will no longer be prepared on site, but rather at a central facility where quality control tests can take place.
The U.S. Justice Department said that its consumer protection unit would look for any misconduct by the company, and the FDA began investigating the E. coli incident last year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on Feb. 1 that the E. coli outbreak “appears to be over.”
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