Since I opened the first Chipotle more than 23 years ago, we have strived to elevate fast food, by using better ingredients which are raised responsibly, without synthetic hormones, antibiotics, added colors, flavors or sweeteners typically found in processed fast food. And I’m very proud of that.
But in 2015, we failed to live up to our own food safety standards, and in so doing, we let our customers down. At that time, I made a promise to all of our customers that we would elevate our food safety program.
Here are the important changes we made:
1. Supplier Interventions
Our suppliers have implemented additional, proven steps that eliminate or dramatically reduce food safety risks before the ingredients ever reach Chipotle.
2. Advanced Technology
We are pioneering advanced technologies including using high pressure to eliminate any possible food safety issues without changing the flavor of the ingredient.
3. Farmer Support & Training
We are providing funding and training to local farms so they can meet our elevated food safety requirements.
4. Enhanced Restaurant Procedures
We deployed robust, industry leading new food safety procedures in our restaurants including new handling procedures for produce, citrus and meats as well as comprehensive sanitizing protocols.
5. Food Safety Certification
We require that our managers and field leaders are certified in food safety by a nationally recognized institution—a first for any national restaurant chain.
6. Restaurant Inspections
We dramatically increased the number, and intensity, of restaurant inspections—both by independent auditors and our internal teams.
7. Ingredient Traceability
We implemented an advanced electronic tracking system to ensure that ingredients can be monitored and quickly removed from our supply if necessary.
8. Advisory Council
We created an independent advisory council comprised of industry experts who continually review our procedures and provide insight into new food safety advancements.
Our commitment to you is that every day, in every restaurant, we will serve food that is safe, delicious, and made with ingredients raised with care.
I never could have imagined that one burrito restaurant would become the company it is today. On behalf of our entire team, we look forward to continuing with you on our quest to make better food accessible to everyone.
Founder, Chairman & Co-CEO
Details at chipotle.com/foodsafety.