- Health officials have inspected three Chipotle restaurants in Powell, Ohio, after receiving nearly 700 inquiries related to a suspected foodborne-illness outbreak.
- Inspectors said they found boxes of raw chicken “leaning” on other packaged foods, creating a contamination risk, in two restaurants.
- The violations come after Chipotle has spent millions of dollars on measures to improve food safety.
Health officials have inspected three Chipotle restaurants in Powell, Ohio, following reports from customers who said they got sick after eating at the restaurants.
In two of the restaurants, inspectors found boxes of raw chicken “leaning” on other packaged foods, according to health records.
The violations come after Chipotle has spent millions of dollars on measures to improve food safety.
The Delaware General Health District (DGHD) on Thursday found “boxes of raw chicken partially leaning onto boxes of packaged foods” at the Chipotle restaurant located at 9733 Sawmill Parkway that’s at the center of a suspected illness outbreak, according to health records. The proximity of the raw chicken to other foods presented a risk of contamination, according to the report.
Following a visit to another Chipotle at 8695 Owenfield Drive in Powell on Wednesday, inspectors wrote, a “box of raw chicken [was] observed up against boxes of unopened beans and very close to ready-to-eat items.”
Inspectors also found foods that were not being held at proper temperatures.
In an emailed statement to Business Insider, Chipotle spokeswoman Laurie Schalow said: “ Food safety is our number one priority and we are proud of the industry leading practices and training we have in place across our system. These instances where two SEALED packaged products were next to each other in the walk-in refrigerator were immediately remedied.”
DGHD said late Thursday that it had received nearly 800 calls and emails concerning suspected illnesses potentially stemming from the Sawmill Parkway Chipotle restaurant. Officials have tested customers’ stool samples and have not yet identified a source of the possible illness outbreak. The location temporarily shut down on Monday for cleaning and reopened on Tuesday.
DGHD has also received three reports of possible illnesses stemming from two other Chipotle locations — the Chipotle restaurant on Owenfield Drive and another Chipotle restaurant at 1710 Columbus Pike in Powell — which prompted inspections of both locations.
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