Today I went to Chipotle on Sunset Hills in Reston for a take-out order. My family has eaten at Chipotle restaurants before, and we like it because we can control what goes into our meals. My husband is allergic to beans, and we like that we can see our meals being made, and ensure that he is not going to bite into a beef and bean burrito when he has ordered a beef burrito. His allergy is actually quite severe, but we have always felt comfortable eating at Chipotle because of the stated ability to see our food being made and the knowledge that the restaurants use safe food handling practices.
Tonight, as I was standing at the front of the line, the woman behind the counter was making either a phone or fax order--the orderer was not present. After placing rice and beans on the burrito, she placed shredded pork over the beans. Another woman behind the counter told her that it was supposed to be part pork and part beef, so she removed half of the pork (which had been in contact with the beans) and put it back in the bin that it came from.
Not a single person said anything. I told her that she had just cross-contaminated the food, and she looked at me like I had two heads. I obviously was not able to order food for my husband at that point; I had no idea if this had happened before (to the chicken or beef) or if it was only the pork that was contaminated.
In an era of allergies and other health issues, it is vitally important that food preparers be educated to not cross-contaminate food. I cannot imagine that it is the policy of Chipotle to correct incorrect orders by putting food back into their bins after they have already been added to a dish.
Thank you for your time.
Received this message from Chipotle:
Louisa Fredrickson | Marketing Consultant
Chipotle Mexican Grill
I spoke with Alex (our General Manager at this store) yesterday and he already has addressed this with his managers and crew. I am really sorry you had to experience this. You can trust me in that this is definitely not the norm. You should feel free to try us at any point; as this should have been corrected immediately.
Again I am really sorry this had to happen to you, but I appreciate you taking the time to let us know about this.