You know the saying: you win some, you lose some. Just last Tuesday, Chipotle announced it would offer queso in its New York City location, and we couldn't be more thrilled for this cheesy indulgence. But today, Chipotle’s stocks fell by a whopping 7.6 percent, its worst drop in seven months, according to Market Watch and Bloomberg. So why the dip, Chipotle?
Why be full of potential when you could be full of burritos?
— Chipotle (@ChipotleTweets) July 18, 2017
Full of bacteria is more like it. In November 2015, Chipotle temporarily shut down some of its West Coast locations after an E. coli crisis, according to PR Week. Even though it re-opened many restaurants in the spring, a Chipotle location in Massachusetts closed again in March 2016 due to norovirus. You may have forgotten about the Chipotle scare since then, but now another spate of norovirus cases has reminded us all.
A Virginia location shut down on Monday because eight customers reported illnesses on iwaspoisoned.com, and at least 13 people got sick, according to Business Insider. One customer reported that she and her son had fallen “violently ill” after eating burrito bowls. Another reported that he and his wife were “puking [their] brains out.” That certainly explains the stock thing.
Chipotle confirmed that the illness was associated with norovirus, but denied that norovirus comes from its food. Known as the winter vomiting bug, norovirus causes nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and fevers. Some of the ways you can get norovirus include eating contaminated foods or drinks, touching contaminated surfaces or sharing utensils with a sick person. According to Mayo Clinic, patients usually recover in two or three days, so it’s not something that people should be too worried about, except for elderly people and children. In fact, it's pretty common—about 20 million Americans get norovirus each year. That still doesn't mean I want to get sick every time I eat a delicious steak burrito, though.
After the Chipotle crisis of 2015 and 2016, the company hired Jim Marsden as the executive director of food safety. “Norovirus does not come from our food supply, and it is safe to eat at Chipotle," he said. "We are working with health authorities to understand what the cause may be and to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.”
While USA Today reports that the Virginia restaurant will re-open today and the patients should be feeling better soon, Chipotle’s latest food safety scare is a little off-putting. Summer sadness is real, y’all. Is the chance to eat a brown rice burrito bowl without puking really too much to ask for?!