The Chain Gang

Chipotle’s CEO Defended His Restaurants on Today


Chipotle founder and co-CEO Steve Ells offered the chain’s first public apology this morning on Today, telling the several hundred customers who’ve gotten sick, be it from E. coli, salmonella, or either of two noroviruses, that he’s “deeply sorry,” and he’s working to make the chain “the safest place to eat.”

Earlier this week, Ells and other execs presented their new food-safety standards (the biggest is the creation of a commissary where certain ingredients will get prepped, then shipped to stores), and this morning, he reiterated that this policy will be the safest in the industry.

“If there’s a silver lining in this,” he added, “it’s that we have looked at every single ingredient that we use at Chipotle. We use 64 ingredients that we bring in. So, from farm through the distribution network, how we prepare the food, how we cook the food, and how we serve the food, we’ve had a team of epidemiologists and food-safety experts to raise our standards.”


Chipotle CEO Apologizes on Today