Why Chipotle's E. Coli Outbreak is the Most Disappointing News This Year


4640845729_c91638fd07_bNext time you consider waiting in an hour-long line at Chipotle to get your burrito fix, you may want to reconsider. Over 40 Chipotle locations in the greater Seattle and Portland areas closed this past week to inspect Chipotle's E. Coli outbreak… yikes. E. Coli is a type of bacteria that lives in the intestines of humans and animals and is most often transmitted through the consumption of contaminated foods such as ground beef, unpasteurized milk, and fresh fruits and vegetables (basically, anything that is produced in close proximity to cow shit). When ingested, E. Coli can cause cramping, puking, severe diarrhea, and even death. So yeah, it's kind of a big deal.

At least 41 unfortunate souls in Washington and Oregon were diagnosed with the debilitating illness after eating at Chipotle. 41 innocent victims, just like you and me… they probably spent all day thinking about the burrito bowl they would get after work. They may have been having a rough day and needed the kind of comfort that only Chipotle can provide. I bet they held nothing back on their orders that day—double meat, guac… the works. I can almost feel their excitement just thinking about the moment they sat down and took their first bite, giddy knowing the leftovers they'd be bringing home. And then… I imagine disaster struck.

I can just imagine those poor 41 individuals hours later, doubled over on the bathroom floor, begging for mercy, losing all faith in humanity, and abandoning their religion while they screamed, “WAS IT THE CARNITAS? THE CORN SALSA? DEAR GOD, WHY DID I GET GUACAMOLE?” The one thing in this life that they thought they could count on, the one thing that was supposed to shed light on their darkest of times, failed them that day. And honestly Chipotle, in failing them, you failed us all.

Where do we go from here? How can we ever trust Chipotle again? We let them ravage our intestines with each and every order… but this time, the damage is too severe. Those 41 individuals could have been anyone. It could have been you, your mom, or your innocent grandmother… simply stopping by Chipotle after a long, hard day and ending up in the hospital hours later.

Chipotle: I never thought I would question your integrity. But looking back, I have to admit that the piles of raw chicken on your grills did seem a little sketchy. You claim your ingredients are “locally grown,” but your produce is as “local” as anything within a 350 mile radius. That doesn’t exactly sound like farm fresh to me.

Until we all receive an apology letter (and a box of chocolates for letting us down), we may have to abandon our weekly Chipotle trip. On the other hand, the breakup might not be all that bad… I mean, at least we might finally lose some weight, right?

CultureEmily AlekComment