For Chipotle (and Us Fans), the E. Coli Problem Has Gone from Bad to Worse(Watch)


*Let me tell you, standing across the street from the only Chipotle restaurant in my neighborhood yesterday, I could tell something was wrong. This particular location was always busy. Now there was only a sprinkling of people inside, here and there.

This I saw with my own eyes…on my way to Baja Fresh.

I’ve of chosen Chipotle over Baja Fresh any day before I heard about the first E. Coli outbreak a few months back. And apparently, I am not alone. Reports are saying that sales have plummeted at warp speed since the E. coli outbreak returned and spread…for the third time.

Jezebel reports that the reach of the outbreak has expanded, and gone from six states to nine. Now, people in Oregon, Washington, California, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Illinois, Maryland, and Pennsylvania have been affected – forcing the company to once again tighten its food safety procedures.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated, “Illnesses started on dates ranging from October 19, 2015, to November 13, 2015.” A total of 52 people have been infected, though only 47 of them ate at a Chipotle restaurant a week before experiencing symptoms.

It’s a disappointing turn of events seeing as though Chipotle markets itself as a company that focuses on fresh, unprocessed food. And this is something that has not gone unnoticed by stockholders.

According to Reuters :

Shares in the popular burrito chain tumbled nearly 8 percent to $518 in extended trading after Chipotle warned that sales at established restaurants could drop 8 to 11 percent for the fourth quarter from a year earlier. This would be the first such decline in company history.

Check out a video report on the findings below.

A reporter asked Bloomberg TVP David Henkes how the company’s current problem will affect the opening of future stores. Henkes basically said the company is at a “mature level” now and can’t be expected to continue to grow as it did in the past. He said the double-digit growth they experienced early on was bound to eventually subside, this latest health issue may have just enhanced the inevitable.

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