The founder and CEO of Chipotle apologized to America on Thursday, saying new health procedures at the troubled chain will ensure that “we are going to be the safest place to eat,” he said on the Today show.
“It’s a really tough time,” said executive Steve Ellis. “I have to say I’m sorry for the people that got sick. They’re having a tough time. I feel terrible about that, and we’re going a lot to rectify this and make sure it doesn’t happen again,” he said.
The ubiquitous Mexican restaurant chain is facing its second health crisis in two months. The latest has sickened 141 Boston College students who all ate at the same franchise over the weekend, city health officials said.
The norovirus was responsible for the illnesses, authorities said. The extremely contagious virus is spread by contact with contaminated surfaces and by those who are sick.
Last month, several eateries in the Northwest were closed after an E.coli outbreak caused several patrons to fall ill.
The popular food establishments bill themselves as very healthy sources of fast food.
But the outbreaks have led to a 10% drop in the company’s stock price. Ellis said that is not his first concern.
“That’s not what we are thinking about right now. We’re thinking about the safety and quality of our ingredients to put in place practices that will not enable this to happen again.”