Here we go again…
You'd think that after all that bad press Chipotle received last year re: its series of unfortunate run-ins with E. coli and norovirus (which predictably resulted in a major sales decline, and the company's lowest stock point in years) the restaurant chain would try its damnedest to win back its customers' allegiance.
It’s not that the chain hasn’t put forth some effort: It launched a new rewards program, and now plans to offer chorizo in the autumn; it’s just that it’s hard to care about those details when reports have surfaced once again — this time via Twitter — of at least two more food poisoning incidents occurring at one of the chain’s Manhattan locations.
Early on July 7th, author Eric Van Lustbader — known for continuing the Bourne series after Robert Ludlum — tweeted that his editor had fallen ill after dining at a Manhattan Chipotle.
This Chipotle thing is still ongoing. My editor ended up in urgent care after being deathly ill all night from eating at Chipotle's.— Eric Van Lustbader (@EVanLustbader) July 7, 2016
Van Lustbader’s follow-up tweet said that his editor spent seven hours in the ER, with doctors surmising that her illness stemmed from unsanitary food handling.
@stocktraderMD She. Was sent to the ER, spent 7hrs there. Bacteria found. Drs surmise from unsan food handling. In UC to get 2 liters fluid— Eric Van Lustbader (@EVanLustbader) July 7, 2016
Clearly, Chipotle is more susceptible than ever to these kinds of allegations, because Business Insider reports that the burrito chain’s stock dropped up to 3.5% the morning of July 7.
Chipotle spokesperson Chris Arnold told Business Insider: "We are aware of the post made on Twitter, however there have been no reports of illnesses at any of our New York restaurants.
"Moreover, we have excellent health department scores throughout the city, and we continue to have the highest standards of food safety in our restaurants.”
Because Van Lustbader spread the news on Twitter, he has become the internet’s newest target; users have begun accusing him of intentionally trying to devalue Chipotle’s stock; Van Lustbader denies these claims.
Additionally, one other person (so far) has come forward, saying they were sick for a full weekend after eating at the chain’s 56th street location in Manhattan.