No one has died in the reported cases of infection, according to the Washington State Department of Health. Seven patients from Washington and three patients from Oregon were hospitalized. Chipotle has responded by taking new food safety measures.“The procedures we’re putting in place to eat are so above industry norms that we are going to be the safest place to eat,” Ells told Matt Lauer Thursday.
A norovirus has also infected 141 students at Boston College. The company is also deep cleaning and sanitizing all of its restaurants in that region, and also conducting environmental and food testing in it’s restaurants and distribution centers.
“The safety of our customers and integrity of our food supply has always been our highest priority,” Steve Ells, chairman and co-CEO of Chipotle, said in a statement. “We work with a number of very fresh ingredients in order to serve our customers the highest-quality, best-tasting food we can. If there are opportunities to do better, we will push ourselves to find them and enhance our already high standards for food safety. Our deepest sympathies go out to those who have been affected by this situation and it is our greatest priority to ensure the safety of all of the food we serve and maintain our customers’ confidence in eating at Chipotle.”
“About 40% of the food in the U.S. is wasted. That costs us money, is bad for the environment, and means people are going hungry when perfectly good food is ending up in a landfill,” Pingree said.
Pingree announced that she will introduce a bill aimed at addressing the nation’s food waste problem in homes, stores, restaurants, schools and farms. The bill would change the way expiration dates are used on products and educate the consumer about what they mean.
“A lot of people mistakenly think there is some sort of government standard for ‘best by’ dates and that you have to throw out food once the date is passed,” Pingree said in a news release. “The truth is it’s the manufacturer who comes up with those dates, and much of the time the food is perfectly safe to eat well after the date has passed.”
One option being considered is that manufactures have a disclaimer saying that these dates are just recommendations, and that the food may still be consumed after the sell by date. The “best by” or sell by” dates are a misleading form of labelling because they imply that the food is no longer good or edible.
Pingree’s bill also includes tax incentives for farmers and retailers to donate or sell bruised or imperfect produce that would have been discarded. School lunch programs would also be reformed so they could buy these imperfect fruits and vegetables.
This is a positive change Congresswoman Pinigree is trying to implement. She is created less food waste by educating the consumer, and clearing confusion from misleading labels.