Lessons Learned From The Chipotle Foodborne Illness Outbreaks

(Webinar length:  1 hr 37min)


This webinar will provide an overview of the outbreaks linked to Chipotle.  Although details of the specific source of the STEC outbreaks remain unknown there are notable lessons that have been learned that are important hallmarks in terms of food handling, food safety culture, communication shortcomings, social media implications, brand concerns, etc.

Chipotle is one of the biggest fast-food franchises in North America and has experienced rapid growth since being established in 1993. The business has grown to 1700 locations in North America and Europe employing an estimated 45000 people. The Chipotle brand is based on the principle of purchasing local, free range and organic ingredients that differentiates the company from more mainstream franchises. In 2015, there were six (6) foodborne outbreaks incidences linked to the Chipotle outlets involving E. coli O157:H7, E. coli O26, Salmonella, and norovirus. Over 600 patrons were affected.  Though the outbreak was dwarfed by the Salmonella cucumbers contamination during 2015, the Chipotle outbreaks have attracted significantly more attention and consequently are an important study for all in the food industry.

This webinar will cover:

  • Overview of outbreaks linked to food service outlets
  • Outbreaks linked to Chipotle: Description of Pathogens of concern
  • Communication failures and weakness in food safety culture
  • Reporting on foodborne illness outbreaks and social media
  • Potential sources of contamination and conspiracy theories
  • Could the Chipotle outbreaks be avoided?

Who will benefit:

  • Quality Assurance Managers
  • Production Managers
  • Laboratory Managers
  • Food Safety Personnel
  • HACCP Coordinators
  • Government Food Inspectors
  • Sanitation Managers
  • Corporate and Plant Microbiologists
  • Processing Engineers
  • Operations Supervisors and Managers

Presenter–Dr. Keith Warriner

Dr. Warriner is currently an Associate Professor within the Department of Food Science at University of Guelph, Canada. Dr. Warriner received his BSc in Food Science from the University of Nottingham, UK and PhD in Microbial Physiology from the University College of Wales Aberystwyth, UK. He later went on to work on biosensors within the University of Manchester, UK and subsequently returned to the University of Nottingham to become a Research Fellow in Food Microbiology. He joined the Faculty of the University of Guelph in 2002.

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