Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. reopened one of its Sterling, Virginia restaurants this week after having closed the burrito fast food chain for two days after receiving several reports of customers who became ill after dining at the restaurant, Reuters reported.
The incident brings back sore memories for Chipotle. In 2015, the company faced multiple foodborne illness outbreaks at several restaurants across the country that sickened more than 500 people with E.coli, salmonella and norovirus. Symptoms of those illnesses include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea that can be bloody.
The outbreaks led to Chipotle falling under a federal investigation and getting hit with around a hundred lawsuits from customers who had been sickened after eating the food.
Chipotle ended up closing more than 2,000 restaurants for four hours to hold a virtual town hall meeting with its employees to discuss measures on how it planned to clean up its act. The company also allowed two reporters to sit in on the meeting and restaurant officials live-tweeted and shared photos of executives and employees during the meeting in an effort to be more transparent.
Chipotle founder Steve Ells launched a $10 million program to help small farmers who supply to the restaurant chain to help cover the cost of implementing the company’s new food safety system. And, the company launched a major media campaign to regain customers’ trust.
There have been 13 reports of illnesses from customers of the latest Chipotle food poisoning outbreak, according to the Loudoun County Public Health Department. Tests to determine the cause are still pending but norovirus is suspected.