In response to a string of E.coli incidents, Chipotle today will keep its more than 1,000 locations across the country closed until 3 p.m.
During this time, staff are going over changes in food preparation and safety procedures, the company announced last month.
"Over the past few months we have taken significant steps to improve the safety of all of the food we serve, and we are confident that the changes we have made mean that every item on our menu is delicious and safe," a Chipotle spokesperson told CNN.
Executives also hope the move will help Chipotle reestablish its reputation as a safe and environmentally friendly establishment, which it had successfully accomplished for a short time after it adopted non-GMO products, impressing investors as stocks soared.
The effort was met with a hardcore marketing campaign featuring phrases such as “Get antibiotics from your doctor, not your chicken.”
But then a string of E.coli outbreaks linked to Chipotle that began in August last year and lasted until December sickened more than 200 people. The health scare led to lawsuits against Chipotle, which was also served with a subpoena by the FDA and caused the company’s stocks to drop by at least 30 percent.
Since then, the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention has given the all clear and Chipotle’s already working on damage control and regaining customers' trust, the largest effort so far being the decision to close its doors today.
If you did actually have plans to eat at Chipotle for lunch today, no worries. Just text "RAINCHECK" to 888-222 between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. EST to get some free grub.