And, Chipotle admits to violating the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act because it sold “adulterated” food because it was “prepared, packed, or held under insanitary conditions whereby it may have become contaminated with filth, or whereby it may have been rendered injurious to health” – “improper food handling.”
And, Chipotle concedes FDA, FSIS and U.S. Attorney criminal jurisdiction because it admits that the source of the E. coli O26 outbreak was imported “contaminated Australian beef.”
Julie Jargon and Jessie Newman from the WSJ broke yet another story on Chipotle this morning that is now making the rounds of the internet. The upshot is that despite the fact that health authorities in several states, the CDC and the FDA (and presumably the FSIS) concluded that a specific food item could not be identified, Chipotle knows better. From the WSJ:
“Behind the scenes, Chipotle also disagreed with health officials about the E. coli’s likely source, said people familiar with the discussions. Government officials leaned toward produce. Chipotle concluded the E. coli most likely from contaminated Australian beef. Chipotle in 2014 began importing grass-fed beef to meet its demand for responsibly raised meat. It believed the E. coli spread to other ingredients through improper food handling, said people familiar with Chipotle.”
Is anyone driving the Chipotle Bus?
According to Food Safety News, some sources have suggested beef from Australia as the source of the E. coli, but no such link has been found by the Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“As was stated by CDC earlier today, we’ve examined the evidence and have not been able to identify a source for these outbreaks,” an FSIS spokesperson said.
“Distribution data shared by Chipotle does not establish a link between Australian beef, or any single source of beef, and the Chipotle restaurants where case patients reported consuming steak. Moreover, of the 60 case patients only eight reported consuming steak.
“During this (investigation), Chipotle committed to several steps to improve sanitation practices and record-keeping in their supply chain and in their restaurants, including better record-keeping and improved employee training.”