Chipotle Mexican Grill has hired James Marsden--a former Kansas State University (KSU) meat science professor--to head up the chain’s food safety endeavors. In his new role--executive director of food safety--Marsden will be responsible for ensuring that Chipotle president Steve Ells’ promise comes to fruition--that the popular food chain becomes the “safest restaurant to eat at”.

Marsden was with KSU for about 22 years in the school’s Animal Science and Industry Department. His research has focused on meat safety, including Escherichia coli in raw ground beef. He has authored and contributed to a number of food safety books. In 2014, Marsden was inducted into the Meat Industry Hall of Fame. Chipotle has referred to Marsden as “one of the nation’s foremost authorities” in the food safety arena.

Chipotle has been in crisis mode ever since a string of E. coli outbreaks prompted the temporary closing of all of the chain’s Oregon and Washington locations in October. Less than two months later, 80 students were sickened with norovirus at another Chipotle restaurant near Boston College. Finally, in early March, a different Massachussetts Chipotle location was closed after sick employees reported to work, which health officials said could spark another norovirus outbreak. In all of the hundreds of illnesses that have been linked to the consumption of Chipotle food, no deaths have ever been reported.

Related articles:
Sick Employees Prompt Another Chipotle Closing
Chipotle's Virtual Meeting Reveals Latest Food Safety Measures
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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