Chipotle Mexican Grill plans to close all of its restaurants in the U.S. for a few hours on February 8 to address food safety in an all-staff meeting.

"We're going to let all of our folks know about how this happened, and, in detail, all the steps that we're taking to ensure that it won't happen again. It’s going to be a great rally," says Steve Ells, Chipotle’s founder and co-CEO.

The meeting will be conducted live via satellite feed for all of the chain’s 60,000 or so employees. Not only do executives plan to thank the entire Chipotle team for remaining focused while they sort through food safety issues, but they will also discuss new safety measures to be utilized going forward. Chipotle staffers will have the opportunity to voice questions and concerns during the live stream.

One of the new food safety measures that Chipotle is instituting is the washing and processing of fresh produce that will now take place in a central kitchen so that the ingredients can be tested with “high-resolution” equipment. Executives say that this testing isn’t feasible for individual restaurants to handle themselves.

This meeting, along with new marketing efforts, are all part of Chipotle’s plan to regain consumer confidence after a series of foodborne outbreaks--E. coli primarily on the West Coast, and norovirus in Boston--temporarily shut down some locations and sent sales and stock prices plummeting. At least one of the events has even prompted a federal investigation.

Nearly three months have passed since Chipotle’s initial outbreak shut down locations in Oregon and Washington. Still no cause has been announced. 

Related articles:
Feds Investigating One of Chipotle's Norovirus Outbreaks

CDC Announces New Chipotle E. coli Outbreak
Chipotle Shifts Gears on Locally Sourced Ingredients
Chipotle’s Food Safety Woes Sicken Boston College Students
Chipotle Releases Enhanced Food Safety Program 
Chipotle’s Pacific Northwest Stores Reopen After E. coli Outbreak
Chipotle Hit with Lawsuit As More E. coli Cases Emerge
E. coli Outbreak Closes Chipotle Restaurants in Oregon and Washington

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