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E coli Mexican Grill
Old 12-21-2015, 06:03 PM   #1
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E coli Mexican Grill

What is your reaction to the E coli illnesses attributed to eating at Chipotle Mexican Grill during the past several months? As a retired food safety professional, I find it most irresponsible for this chain to be so poorly managed in the area of food safety. I did eat at one of their restaurants a couple of years ago and was put off by the high prices and mediocre quality of food. Have not eaten there since and seems that was one of my best decisions.
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Old 12-21-2015, 06:13 PM   #2
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So if you're a food safety professional you know that many restaurants, grocery stores, and food manufacturers have had a wide variety of health issues arise. Not OK, but not unique to Chipotle by any means, and many more local sources fly under the big news radar.

Since you're a pro, what's the solution to avoid the next one? We already know about Chipotle...

http://www.about-ecoli.com/ecoli_outbreaks#.VniVzK9OKrU
Quote:
AFG and Supervalu E. coli Outbreak
AgVenture Farms / Florida Fair E. coli Outbreak
Ambassador Restaurant E. coli Outbreak
Ambassel Ehtiopian Cuisine & Bar E. coli Outbreak
Aunt Mid’s Lettuce E. coli Outbreak
Bauer Meats E. coli Outbreak
Baugher’s Apple Cider E. coli Outbreak
BBQ Shack E. coli Outbreak
BJ’s Wholesale Club E. coli Outbreak
Bravo Farms Gouda Cheese (Sold by Costco) E. coli Outbreak
Burma Superstar E. coli Outbreak
California Romaine Lettuce E. coli Outbreak – Washington State
Camp Bournedale-South Shore Meats E. coli Outbreak
Camp Lutherhaven E. coli O26 Outbreak
Captain’s Galley Seafood Restaurant E. coli Outbreak
Cargill E. coli Outbreak (2007)
Cargill Ground Beef E. coli O26 Outbreak
Carneco and Sam’s Club E. coli Outbreak
CCC Alternative Learning Program Daycare E. coli Outbreak
China Buffet E. coli Outbreak
Cleveland County Fair E. coli Outbreak
Coco Loco E. coli Outbreak in College Station, TX
ConAgra E. coli Outbreak
Country Cottage Restaurant E coli O111 Outbreak
Cozy Vale Creamery Raw Milk E. coli Outbreak
Crossroads Farm (N.C. State Fair) E. coli Outbreak
Cuyahoga County E. coli and HUS outbreak
D. DeFranco and Sons Hazelnuts Nationwide E. coli Outbreak
Dee Creek Farm E. coli Outbreak
Dole and Natural Selections Spinach E. coli Outbreak
Dole Lettuce E. coli Outbreak
Dungeness Valley Creamery Raw Milk E. coli Outbreak
E. coli O145 Outbreak Plagues South
El Mexicano Restaurant E. coli Outbreak - Spartanburg, SC
Emmpak E. coli Outbreak
European E. coli O104 (EHEC) Outbreak Linked to Sprouts
Excel E. coli Outbreak
Fairbank Farms E. coli Outbreak
Farm Rich Brand Frozen Pizza, Quesadilla & Mozzarella Stick E. coli Outbreak
Federico’s Mexican Restaurant E. coli Outbreak
Finley School District E. coli Outbreak
Flanders Provision Company E. coli Outbreak
Forest Ranch Fire Department Fundraiser E. coli Outbreak
Foundation Farm Raw Milk E. coli Outbreak
Freshway Lettuce E. coli O145 Outbreak
Glass Onion Catering Salad & Wrap E. coli Outbreak
Glenn’s Market & Catering E. coli Outbreak
Gold Coast Produce E. coli Outbreak
Golden Corral E. coli Outbreak
Habaneros E. coli Outbreak
Hartmann Farm Dairy Raw Milk E. coli Outbreak
Herb Depot / Autumn Olives Farm Raw Goat’s Milk E. coli Outbreak
Interstate Meat E. coli Outbreak
Ixtapa Mexican Restaurant E. coli Outbreak
J.B. Meats E. coli Outbreak
Jack in the Box E. coli Outbreak
Japan E. coli O111 Outbreak
Jaquith Strawberry Farm E. coli Outbreak
Jason’s Deli E. coli Outbreak
JBS Swift E. coli Outbreak
Jimmy John’s clover sprouts E. coli O26 Outbreak
Jimmy John’s E. coli Outbreak (2013)
Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches E. coli Outbreak
Karl Ehmer / IBP E. coli Outbreak
Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) E. coli Outbreak
KFC/Taco Bell E. coli Outbreak Linked to Lettuce
Kid’s Korner Daycare E. coli Outbreak
Kindercare E. coli Outbreak
King Garden Restaurant E. coli Outbreak
Lane County Fair E. coli Outbreak
Longhorn Steakhouse E. coli Outbreak
Los Burritos Mexicanos E. coli Outbreak
McBee Dairy Farm Raw Milk E. coli Outbreak
McNees Meats & Wholesale Ground Beef E. coli Outbreak
National Steak and Poultry E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak
National Western Stock Show E. coli Outbreak
Nebraska Beef E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak 2006
Nebraska Beef E. coli Outbreak 2008
Neff’s Lawn Care Picnic E. coli Outbreak
Nestle Toll House Cookie Dough E. coli Outbreak
North Carolina State Fair E. coli Outbreak (2011)
Odwalla Apple Juice E. coli Outbreak
Olive Garden E. coli Outbreak
Organic Pastures Raw Milk & Colostrum E. coli Outbreak (2006)
Organic Pastures Raw Milk E. coli Outbreak (2011)
Parsley E. coli Outbreak
Peninsula Village E. coli Outbreak
PM Beef Holdings E. coli Outbreak
Robeson School District E. coli Outbreak
Robinswood Pointe E. coli Outbreak
Rochester Meat Company E. coli Outbreak
Rocky Mountain Natural Meats Bison Meat E. coli outbreak
S & S Foods - Boy Scout Camp E. coli Outbreak
Sally Jackson Cheese E. coli Outbreak
Schnucks Romaine Lettuce E. coli Outbreak
Seltzers Lebanon Bologna E. coli Outbreak
Sizzler E. coli Outbreak
Sodexho (Sequoias Retirement Center) E. coli Outbreak
Spokane Produce Lettuce E. coli Outbreak
State Garden Organic Spinach E. coli Outbreak
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Old 12-21-2015, 06:21 PM   #3
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Attempting to be all natural, organic, non GMO, no antibiotics leaves a lot of territory to audit and verify in the area of food safety. A large national chain would need to expend a lot of money and expertise to monitor all these suppliers.
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Old 12-21-2015, 06:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanfanciscotreat View Post
What is your reaction to the E coli illnesses attributed to eating at Chipotle Mexican Grill during the past several months? As a retired food safety professional, I find it most irresponsible for this chain to be so poorly managed in the area of food safety. I did eat at one of their restaurants a couple of years ago and was put off by the high prices and mediocre quality of food. Have not eaten there since and seems that was one of my best decisions.
I understand that Chipotle Mexican Grill is guilty of an episode of E coli contamination as, sadly, a number of restaurants are every year. But I'm curious about your comment "poorly managed in the area of food safety." As a retired food safety professional, would you please comment further? What examples (please, actual examples not speculation or a restatement of general food safety rules) could you point out that Chipotle management committed that we could all be on the lookout for as we take our lives in our hands dining out.
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Old 12-21-2015, 06:31 PM   #5
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another reason to stay at home and cook my own food.
The others being:
I like my cooking.
I like my homemade wine better.
My wine doesn't cost me $8/glass
I don't have to drive home after drinking too much of the $8/glass wine.
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Old 12-21-2015, 06:35 PM   #6
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I would assume, based on Midpack's chart, that the only way to be safe is to eat only foods produced by companies who's name start with T - Z. And maybe Q.
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Old 12-21-2015, 06:41 PM   #7
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My Mom recently had a bad case of E Coli. She was sick enough that she had to go into the ER. They sent her home with some antibiotics. Then they called her back because her strain tested immune to the antibiotic she was prescribed. They put her on intravenous antibiotics and admitted her to the hospital for a day to observe her. Here white blood cell count was very high.

That was about two weeks ago and she's still not all better - but improving.

She's not sure where she picked it up (she lives in Fort Lauderdale). She hasn't eaten at Chipotle recently[edit] recently.
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Old 12-21-2015, 06:45 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by HadEnuff View Post
another reason to stay at home and cook my own food.
The others being:
I like my cooking.
I like my homemade wine better.
My wine doesn't cost me $8/glass
I don't have to drive home after drinking too much of the $8/glass wine.
I've never been to a Chipotles restaurant. Do they serve wine? If so, they seem like a bit of a low tier place to be getting $8/glass.
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Old 12-21-2015, 06:49 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by mpeirce View Post
She hasn't eaten recently.
This is the key, IMHO.
Every one of these problems was caused by eating.
OTOH, I have never heard of anyone contracting an E. coli infection by drinking.

I leave the conclusion to you, but I think I have it figured out.
[burp]
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Old 12-21-2015, 07:03 PM   #10
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This is the key, IMHO.
Every one of these problems was caused by eating.
OTOH, I have never heard of anyone contracting an E. coli infection by drinking.

I leave the conclusion to you, but I think I have it figured out.
[burp]
Of course this is why in the early US hard cider was preferred to water or milk. A bit of alcohol seems to keep many bacteria at bay. Perhaps then if alcohol works against e-coli alcohol containing salad dressings here is a link to a post a blog on scientific american about alcohol and e-coli: Strong Medicine: Drinking Wine and Beer Can Help Save You from Cholera, Montezuma s Revenge, E. Coli and Ulcers 1 - Scientific American Blog Network
The post discusses cholera in Inverness in 1832 and alcohol. Perhaps then Cipotle should serve some straight vodka with their food.
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Old 12-21-2015, 07:18 PM   #11
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During my career numerous advances in food safety auditing and verification have evolved. The most recent is GFSI, Global Food Safety Initiative. KFC and McDonalds have accepted this program and require suppliers to meet these standards, which are for more extensive and complex than can be detailed here. KFC and Mickey Ds do not have an extensive number of local suppliers to their restaurants, enabling them to focus on a smaller number of suppliers which must meet internationally accepted standards, such as having a verified and validated HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) program. Chipotle has a number of local suppliers for their restaurants and the sheer numbers and expense for small suppliers to meet GFSI standard makes them more susceptible to food safety problems.
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Old 12-21-2015, 07:20 PM   #12
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I've never been to a Chipotles restaurant. Do they serve wine? If so, they seem like a bit of a low tier place to be getting $8/glass.
I have never been there either. I checked the menu online. No wine.

They do have beer, though.

guess I'll just stay home.
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Old 12-21-2015, 07:22 PM   #13
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This is the key, IMHO.
Every one of these problems was caused by eating.
OTOH, I have never heard of anyone contracting an E. coli infection by drinking.

I leave the conclusion to you, but I think I have it figured out.
[burp]

I agree. You got it.
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Old 12-21-2015, 07:53 PM   #14
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I ate at Chipolte about a month before the first outbreak. What is disturbing is that nobody has been able to determine the source of the illness.

I have a couple of free meal coupons that expire at the end of the month and after listening to the news tonight the coupons will just have to expire.
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E coli Mexican Grill
Old 12-21-2015, 08:48 PM   #15
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E coli Mexican Grill

Life is a crapshoot. My 85-year old mother got salmonella from a salad at a Mexican chain restaurant, not Chipotle. Sorry, I don't know which one, but it was reported to the Health Dept. DH and I rarely eat out but we're in road trip mode right now so we've had a few restaurant meals, mostly Subway. Chipotle wouldn't scare me right now; they're probably more cautious than most. I just avoid them because their portions are huge.
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Old 12-21-2015, 09:39 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by sanfanciscotreat View Post
During my career numerous advances in food safety auditing and verification have evolved. The most recent is GFSI, Global Food Safety Initiative. KFC and McDonalds have accepted this program and require suppliers to meet these standards, which are for more extensive and complex than can be detailed here. KFC and Mickey Ds do not have an extensive number of local suppliers to their restaurants, enabling them to focus on a smaller number of suppliers which must meet internationally accepted standards, such as having a verified and validated HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) program. Chipotle has a number of local suppliers for their restaurants and the sheer numbers and expense for small suppliers to meet GFSI standard makes them more susceptible to food safety problems.
So stay away from restaurants that source locally at farmer's markets or local organic farms and go to Mickey D's and KFC instead?
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Old 12-21-2015, 09:54 PM   #17
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So stay away from restaurants that source locally at farmer's markets or local organic farms and go to Mickey D's and KFC instead?
Interestingly I read that Chipolte will be moving to cleaning and bagging produce at central locations, and bag it up. Which of course is what the big chains do.
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Old 12-21-2015, 10:08 PM   #18
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The whole Blue Bell Ice-cream listeria saga was quite an eye-opener.

Plant shut downs, huge recalls, no ice cream sales for a long period of time.

How the listeria recall tarnished ice cream maker Blue Bell - Fortune
After listeria deaths, Blue Bell is taking slow road - Houston Chronicle
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Old 12-21-2015, 10:24 PM   #19
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I hate to break it to you, but you're in contact with E. coli all the time. Years ago here in Los Angeles, the local CBS affiliate went undercover in restaurants here . It was a sensational expose, in which one commercial for the upcoming news segment looped a kitchen worker picking his nose over and over again. It showed vermin and pest infestation/droppings, lack of hot water in restaurant kitchens, restrooms without soap which kitchen help used. Fortunately, this led to restaurants in Southern California having to operate under a letter grade system upon inspection by the health department.

Not content with grossing people out with the restaurant expose (which in fact caused some of those nasty restaurants to close), the news station then did cotton swabs of Socal ATMs, phone booth key pads, etc. What did they find? E coli. And research has shown that shopping cart handles are dirtier than your toilet seat.

What is E. coli? From Wikipedia:

Quote:
fecal–oral transmission is the major route through which pathogenic strains of the bacterium cause disease. Cells are able to survive outside the body for a limited amount of time, which makes them potential indicator organisms to test environmental samples for fecal contamination. A growing body of research, though, has examined environmentally persistent E. coli which can survive for extended periods outside of a host
As a result of this, and seeing one too many co-workers, gym attendees, and other public restroom users come out of a toilet stall without washing their hands, I no longer shake hands, but do the bump fist instead. I have no idea whether someone has had the common decency to wash.

By the way, very recent research has shown the folding seat tray and seat arms in an airplane are dirtier than the airplane toilet because they aren't cleaned, unlike the toilet. Take your sanitizing wipes.
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Old 12-22-2015, 05:01 AM   #20
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What examples (please, actual examples not speculation or a restatement of general food safety rules) could you point out that Chipotle management committed that we could all be on the lookout for as we take our lives in our hands dining out.
I'm curious about the answer to this as well, as I haven't read anything yet that indicates rampant wrongdoing by company staff. I was under the impression that the problems were attributable mostly to lax enforcement of food safety protocols more generally in our society, which just happened to affect Chipotle disproportionately due to their size, their efforts to use local and sustainable sources, and the revenues that the media can enjoy from focusing so much attention on a company who's stock had climbed so high.

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So stay away from restaurants that source locally at farmer's markets or local organic farms and go to Mickey D's and KFC instead?
That's the way I read it. And I'm not sure, from a short-term safety perspective, that it isn't the "right" answer. However, we need a better answer to be made available.
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