Chipotle Workers Blow the Whistle on management practices that may create food safety risks for consumers
The National Consumers League (NCL) published a report claiming that Chipotle Mexican Grill’s management style could lead to more food safety issues for the Chipotle chain. NCL interviewed 47 workers at 25 stores in New York City to create the report, along with analysis of corporate filings, press reports, and other publicly available documents.
Chipotle acknowledges that the company’s business model puts the company at relatively high risk for food-borne illness due to the emphasis on “fresh, unprocessed produce and meats, the reliance on employees cooking with traditional methods rather than automation, and avoidance of frozen ingredients.
The management bonus program may incentivize managers to meet productivity goals by cutting corners on food safety or by violating worker protection laws. Workers reported that managers had pressured employees to work while sick. Understaffing makes it difficult for employees to comply with food safety rules. Workers report that Chipotle managers pinch pennies by refusing to fix broken equipment or buy necessary safety materials.