DENVER, Colo. — Every Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurant in North America will shut down Feb. 8 for a company-wide meeting to address food safety.
Chris Arnold, the company’s spokesman, said the meeting will involve all staff and cover a range of issues. “We want to thank our teams for all of their hard work, to discuss some of the changes we are making to enhance food safety, to talk about the restaurants’ role in that and to answer questions from employees,” he wrote in an email to The Chicago Tribune.
Chipotle’s sales plummeted following a series of highly publicized outbreaks of food poisoning across the country, which began last year. Between July and November 2015, U.S. federal health officials reported more than 40 people fell ill with E. coli food poisoning after eating at Chipotle restaurants in six different states. In December, an additional 200 people contracted norovirus after eating at a Chipotle in Boston. Also in December, five cases of E. coli were investigated in Kansas, North Dakota and Oklahoma. At least nine lawsuits have been filed to date.