Recently, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has linked a multistate outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O26 (a strain of E.Coli) to Chipotle Mexican Restaurants. One of the symptoms of an E.Coli infection is diarrhea, which may range from mild and watery, to severe and bloody. The CDC, however, states that “The investigation is still ongoing to determine what specific food is linked to illness.”
In 2009, the cartoon series South Park released the Episode “Dead Celebrities” which contained a fictional commercial featuring the late Billy Mays. In the commercial, he pitches a product called Chipotlaway (pronounced "Chipotle Away"), a laundry spray designed to get the blood stains out of your underwear after you eat Chipotle.
In response to this episode, Chipotle stated that their food does not cause underwear blood. The Live Feed:
"Being spoofed on South Park certainly says something about our popularity with that audience, but we didn’t have anything to do with the content. Some people will find it funny, others will not. But ultimately, being part of the pop culture conversation is probably a good thing."
BREAKING NEWS: Chipotle Mexican Grill's food-safety problems just got worse, reports CNBC.
Health officials closed a Chipotle location in Seattle, citing repeated food safety violations within the past year.
The closure is the latest blow to Chipotle's food safety image. An outbreak of norovirus at a restaurant near Boston College sickened 141 people. In addition, a widespread E. coli outbreak linked to the chain has sickened 52 people across nine states, including 27 people in Washington state.
In an interview on NBC, founder and co-Chief Executive Officer Steve Ells apoligized and promised change. In his words: "This was a very unfortunate incident and I'm deeply sorry that this happened, but the procedures we're putting in place today are so above industry norms that we are going to be the safest place to eat."