(credit: Mike Mozart/Flickr)
Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., the Denver-based chain staggering from a string of food-borne illness outbreaks at its restaurants, is under federal criminal investigation for a norovirus outbreak at one of its California locations.
The August outbreak occurred at a restaurant in Simi Valley and sickened 189 customers and 18 employees, according to a local health department worker who spoke with NPR. After the outbreak, local authorities reported finding meat held at improper temperatures and dirty conditions in the restaurant’s kitchen. A subpoena from a federal grand jury, disclosed Wednesday in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, requires Chipotle to produce a range of documents related to the outbreak.
The US Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California and the Food and Drug Administration are jointly conducting the investigation. In the SEC filing, Chipotle said it intends to fully cooperate, though it’s unclear at this point what criminal violations or charges might be pursued.
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