More E. coli cases linked to Chipotle

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What’s the problem? e. coli is 100% natural and organic.


You just can’t have ‘Food With Integrity’ in such industrial quantities.

I think they’ve got 2000 locations now. Unless you count the one in Seattle that was closed down for being such a health inspection disaster - repeatedly.


“Shhhhh. . . don’t say anything, or they’ll charge you extra!”

(rimshot, groans from audience.)


Your best protection from Escherichia coli is Escherichia coli. Keep a happy healthy population of anaerobes in your gut and there won’t be much room for Shiga-types to set up shop.


Yep, that’s why I always lick the restroom door handle before leaving…


All five (100%)

Thanks CDC. Was struggling with the maths there.


More accurately, you can’t have ‘food with integrity’ in such industrial quantities at a price that corporate is willing to accept. It could be criminal to implement more safeguards or pay in advance for more food safety than deemed the absolute minimum necessary to meet corporate goals.

Such is america.


“Give ill people have been identified…”

Pretty sure that is supposed to read “Five ill people.”


…in Kansas (1), North Dakota (1), and Oklahoma (3),

Oh good. I do not live in those states. Chipotle here must be safe.


I get the shits like one out of every five time I eat at Subway. But I know the risks going in and I learned to stay away from the meatballs and the tuna.


The media tends to focus on whatever is hot… if there’s one shark attack, they report on every nibble all summer. And the public freaks out and thinks that shark attacks are on the rise.

So… I’m actually pretty curious about the number of food poisoning cases at Chipotle per meal served vs. a lot of other places you might eat.


Some pretty rough math here…

Worldwide Chipotle Customers = 750,000 per day
US-based Chipotle Restaurants = 99% of franchise
US Chipotle Customers Estimate = 743,000 per day
Total US Restaurant Customers = 170,000,000 per day
Chipotle’s Share of Total US Restaurant Customers = 0.43%
US Food Poisoning Hospitalization = 128,000 per year
Food Poisoning by Restaurants = 44% of cases… 56,320 people per year

So, let’s pretend every restaurant poisoned people equally… Chipotle’s portion (0.43%) of Food Poisoning Hospitalizations would be 242 people per year. And they’d be allowed to make many, many more people sick without hospitalization, too.

I don’t think Chipotle has sent 242 people to the hospital this year… or any year… so therefore it would seem that you have a greater risk of getting sick by eating at some other restaurant.


Shut up! You’re ruining my panic!


Wow. A 20% chance of GI horror just for the joy of eating a breadwich? We must have drastically different enjoyment levels from sandwiches for this risk to be worth it to you.

Man, I wouldn’t sign up for that risk/reward ratio if you upped it by offering a $20 bill with each sandwich meal consumed.


I realize this is a wonderful chance for anyone who didn’t like Chipotle anyway to crow that they were objectively correct, but it’s quite possible that this is due to a fuck-up somewhere in the upstream supply chain which Chipotle couldn’t have known about even with reasonable diligence. A major national chain operation offers a lot of opportunities for Murphy’s Law to get in.

I’d like to know if Chipotle’s rates of foodborne illness are worse that other chains of comparable size.


To compare it to the Evil Empires, if dozens of McDonalds or Subways had been shut down in the last couple months for E Coli outbreaks, you would have heard of it. McDs certainly has outbreaks, even huge ones for numbers of people - like over 1000 people for one recent Hepatitis A outbreak! But those are generally linked to a single location, like that Hepatits A thing, or producer.

You’re also more likely to get food poisoning from a single non-chain restaurant than any of these.

The worrying thing with the Chipotle food poisonings are that they’re happening all over all the country. There’s no apparent pattern. It may be because they’re trying to use organic - you are going to get 4-8x food poisoning rates (per serving) for foods labeled organic, according to the USDA - they’re 8% of recalls, but only 1-2% of products. Chipotle themselves acknowledge this indirectly in their regulatory disclosure:

We have made a significant commitment to serving local or organic produce when seasonally available, and a small portion of our restaurants also serves produce purchased from farmers markets seasonally as well. These produce initiatives may make it more difficult to keep quality consistent, and present additional risk of food-borne illnesses

So you can give them credit for trying to stay ethical but if you try to do it in such industrial quantities you’re going to get a lot more food poisoning, no way around it. Unless you put tons of money into it, but like rossleonardy said up there jacking up the prices like that probably isn’t on the table.


Hang on, what kind of “the shits” are we talking about here? I often have, not to put too fine a point on it, a big runny shit after eating a large, greasy meal, but it’s not “GI horror,”* just a slightly extended bathroom visit.

*GI Horror sounds like the name of a popular EC Comics series, probably introduced by some sort of undead doughboy.


In other words, literally shitty food

Anecdata, but I ate there exactly one time and got food poisoning.