SEATTLE-- Perfect food safety is not possible, but Chipotle is trying to get as close to that ideal as it can with new procedures and testing inside and outside their restaurants. That's according to CEO Steve Ells, the company's founder.
During a visit to Seattle Tuesday, Ells said, "It is impossible to ensure that there is a zero percent chance of any kind of foodborne illness anytime anyone eats anywhere." He spoke to The Associated Press at the beginning of a day stopping by Seattle restaurants to talk to employees about new food safety rules.
Although the Denver-based chain is sure the October and November E. coli outbreak was caused by bacteria in fresh food like tomatoes or cilantro, Ells said they will never know for sure which item actually sickened more than 50 people who ate at their restaurants.
One affected person was in Ohio. Chipotle told FOX 8 it was a person who ate at three different local restaurants in five days. Those restaurants were the University of Akron location on East Exchange Street, the Lyndhurst/ Legacy Village location on Cedar Road and the Parma location on West Ridgewood Drive.
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In addition to more testing along the supply chain, Chipotle is instituting more high-tech food tracking inside its restaurants and some new procedures, including cutting, washing and testing tomatoes at central commissaries to ensure they are as clean as possible.