From the Public Health Insider: Public Health – Seattle & King County’s Food Safety Program closed the Chipotle Mexican Grill at 212 Westlake Ave. N today for repeated food safety violations.
Last month, forty-three Chipotle restaurants in Washington and Oregon voluntarily closed their doors when they became linked with an E. Coli outbreak. In order to re-open their facilities, restaurants were required to perform a top-down cleaning and sanitation, discard all produce, and pass an inspection by our health inspectors. On November 1o, all seventeen King County Chipotle restaurants met criteria to reopen their doors.
In the time since, Public Health has continued to closely monitor Chipotle and has conducted inspections at all King County locations. The South Lake Union restaurant closed today has received red violations on three consecutive visits, including the inspection today (its second inspection since the E. coli outbreak). Red violations indicate improper practices or procedures identified as the most prevalent in contributing to foodborne illness. In each one of these inspections, the total red violation points were between 25-33 points out of 400 possible points, well below the 90 point threshold for a closure. However, because this location showed repeated violations, the health department closed the restaurant.
Public Health food program staff are working with Chipotle to correct these problems, and the restaurant will be allowed to re-open pending an inspection.
First, you had the Seattle Summer E. coli Outbreak, that was never mentioned. Then it was the Minnesota Salmonella Outbreak and the California Norovirus Outbreak. And, then it was the E. coli O26 Outbreak, and finally the Boston Norovirus Outbreak. Clearly, it has not been a good few months for Chipotle or customers or stockholders.