Chipotle prompts turmoil amongst students


Photo Courtesy of Mike Mozart/Flickr Creative Commons Chipotle has been one of the most popular eateries for students in the area.

Photo Courtesy of Mike Mozart/Flickr Creative Commons
Chipotle has been one of the most popular eateries for students in the area.

There are a lot of great restaurant and fast food options students have to choose from near the University of San Diego. Chipotle is one of the most popular places for students to get a quick meal, but for now, many students are rethinking making a visit to this restaurant.

According to the New York Times, Chipotle has so far temporarily closed 43 restaurants in both Washington and Oregon due to a recent E. coli contamination. During the month of October, there have been over 40 cases of E. coli traced back to Chipotle between these two states. The World Health Organization was impressed when Chipotle took extra precautions to close more stores than were effected by the contamination.

The outbreak of E. coli in Washington and Oregon has progressively deterred people from going to the restaurant chain around the country, affecting the company’s large-scale sales.

Chipotle is currently in the process of assessing the situation regarding the source of contamination of the bacteria. It has so far been reported by the company that contaminated produce is most likely to blame for the bacterial outbreak, although the source of the produce has yet to be disclosed.

Despite this recent outbreak in nearby states Washington and Oregon, sophomore Jullisa Romani is still planning on regularly eating at Chipotle here in California.

“I love Chipotle, so for me no, it doesn’t really deter me from eating there because there are worse places to eat at that have GMOs in their food or get their meat products from places that abuse and inject animals with steroids,” Romani said. “Basically, I feel like you can’t trust a lot of fast food places or restaurants.”

However, junior Alexa Layne voiced a different view about going to the restaurant chain due to the recent E. coli outbreak.

“Yes, it deters me from eating at a Chipotle because I don’t know exactly where they get their food from, so if it comes from the same source for the west coast areas, then locations in Southern California might possibly have E. coli as well,” Layne said.

Senior Maxine Velez is similarly thinking twice before visiting a Chipotle location anytime soon.

“Well yes, I’m actually really disappointed because Chipotle was my go-to healthy fast food choice, but now due to the outbreak, instead of causing obesity and cancer like true fast food places like McDonald’s it will send me straight to the hospital within hours of eating the damn burrito,” Velez said.

While there are mixed feelings amongst students regarding whether they will continue eating at Chipotle in the coming weeks, the company has already been experiencing a marked hit to its sales nationwide.

The company has enjoyed increasing profit margins every progressive year; however, with this outbreak, and with so many customers having been affected by the E. coli bacteria, the restaurant chain is expected to take a noticeable hit in the generated profits for this year. Chipotle stock prices have already experienced a drop since this last E. coli outbreak.

Whether you will continue to eat at Chipotle is up to you, but it is worth noting that there have yet to be any documented cases of recent E. coli contamination in any of the other locations outside of Washington and Oregon. So far, San Diego is safe, as there have not been any reported cases in California. Chipotle has since declared that it will be reopening the closed locations in the northwest on Wednesday, Nov. 11, after extensive testing and cleaning of the locations.