BUSINESS

Chipotle Is Closing All Restaurants Next Month For A Food Safety Meeting

You'll have to find somewhere else to eat lunch on Feb. 8.

Better stock up now on guac, because Chipotle locations across the country will temporarily close for a companywide meeting next month. 

The chain, which has been plagued with E. coli outbreaks since October, will close its locations to discuss a range of issues, including food safety protocol.

"We are hosting a national team meeting on Monday, February 8 to thank our employees for their hard work through this difficult time, discuss some of the food safety changes we are implementing, and answer questions from employees," Chipotle spokesperson Chris Arnold told The Huffington Post in an email. 

But you won't be left burrito-less for long. The restaurants will reopen at 3 p.m. local time later that same day.

More than 50 people fell ill from the E. coli outbreak that hit Chipotle locations in nine states in October and November. And last month, 141 Boston College students reported symptoms associated with norovirus after eating at a Chipotle near the school, in what Chipotle deemed "an unrelated case."

The company is also facing a lawsuit for "misleading shareholders" over the severity of the outbreaks. One of Chipotle's investors filed a complaint in federal court on Friday, saying that the chain's statements regarding quality control and the quality of its ingredients were "demonstrably false."

Chipotle's reputation isn't the only thing taking a serious hit. The company's sales plunged 30 percent last month in the wake of the E. coli outbreaks, and its stock continued to plummet as of last week.

Still, Chipotle is determined to recover from this chaos. The company has altered its cooking methods and announced that it will undertake a big marketing push to win back the hearts (and stomachs) of its customers.

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