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Another Food Poisoning Case Shutters a Chipotle Restaurant

A Chipotle restaurant in Virginia had to shut its doors temporarily in July of 2017 due to customers' reports of diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pains after eating there. For Chipotle, cases of alleged food poisoning reaching the news is nothing new. In 2015, the fast casual burrito vendor faced numerous food poisoning cases at locations across the nation, including E.Coli, Norovirus, and Salmonella. With each outbreak, Chipotle saw its stock prices fall. It recovered from these outbreaks by publicly making changes to its food preparation and handling operations and offering customers free food products. Although customers returned to Chipotle, the association between the restaurant and food poisoning remains in the back of many minds.

How Food Poisoning Scandals Change the Public's Perception of a Brand

Because of the previous cases of food poisoning involving Chipotle, many individuals mentally associate the brand with food poisoning and if they experience food poisoning symptoms themselves, may be quick to assume the symptoms are because of food consumed from Chipotle rather than food consumed elsewhere. This is not a new or isolated phenomenon – years following its E.Coli outbreak in the early 1990s, potential customers were still wary of eating at Jack in the Box.

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How Can a Company Like Chipotle Recover from a Food Poisoning Scare?

Fast-casual, Mexican-themed eatery Chipotle has had quite a year in terms of negative publicity. After being linked to multiple food poisoning outbreaks in 2015 and 2016, the company has been making publicized changes to how it handles and stores its food in an effort to win customers back. It has also had numerous promotions, giving away free burritos and guacamole, in an effort to alter its image in the eyes of its fans.

How can a company really prove that it has taken steps to avoid another food poisoning outbreak? Consumers can be difficult to persuade, and scandals can stay with a company for years. For example, many still remember the 1993 E.coli outbreak that was linked to Jack in the Box hamburger patties and associate the restaurant's name with food poisoning. To rebuild its image, Chipotle and any company in a similar position needs to work hard to prove that it puts its consumers' safety first.

Testing its Supply Chain

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Chipotle Concerns Reach Boston College

Recently, an outbreak of E.coli found in Chipotle locations in nine states was linked to more than 50 illness cases. The outbreak reached Boston College, where at least eight members of the men's basketball team became ill after eating at a local Chipotle outlet. Their illnesses made them unable to play, forcing the team to cancel practice and a game against Providence College.

Food poisoning, like E.coli, can become serious to the point that it creates health complications for those who come into contact with it. In many cases, especially where the victim is a young, healthy individual, food poisoning resolves itself within a few days. But this is not always the case. Sometimes, E.coli infection becomes hemolytic uremic syndrome, a condition that can lead to kidney shut down and following that, permanent kidney damage or death. If you notice yourself suffering from E.coli symptoms like a low fever, diarrhea, and stomach cramps, seek medical attention as soon as you can.

How is E.coli Spread?

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