Chipotle may need to start charging even more for guac — the company is paying the largest fine EVER in a food safety case stemming from more than a thousand instances of food poisoning.
The Justice Department announced Tuesday, Chipotle’s been ordered to pay a whopping $25 million fine to settle criminal charges over foodborne illness outbreaks at its restaurants.
You’ll recall, more than 1,100 people across the U.S. claimed they got sick from Chipotle restaurants between 2015 and 2018. The feds charged Chipotle with 2 counts of violating the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act for selling tainted food.
According to the DOJ, Chipotle admitted to more than several instances that resulted in outbreaks. For example, in December 2015 an ill employee in Boston was ordered to continue working after vomiting inside the restaurant — a clear violation of company policy.
The feds say 2 days later, the employee returned to work and helped package a catering order for a Boston College basketball team, whose members were among customers sickened by the outbreak.
Chipotle was also accused of failing to hold food at appropriate temperatures to prevent and control the growth of foodborne pathogens.
Aside from the 8-figure fine, the company also has to be under a food safety compliance program for 3 years.