DENVER, Co. — The embattled Tex-Mex restaurant chain Chipotle, which was founded by an open homosexual and is known for being vocal for its support for “gay rights,” closed all of its more than 2,000 restaurants on Monday to address the food safety issues that have plagued the company nationwide.
According to reports, Chipotle officials held a virtual town hall meeting with employees to discuss necessary changes after over 500 customers reported becoming sick after eating the food chain since last July. The company dealt with accusations of making consumers ill with the norovirus, salmonella and E. coli and was leveled with a lawsuit over the matter.
Chipotle co-CEO Monty Moran told reporters that part of the problem was caused by employees who came to work sick. He advised the more than 50,000 employees in Monday’s meeting to stay home if they don’t feel well.
“The two norovirus outbreaks were likely caused by a mistake—specifically, employees coming to work sick,” he stated. “If you’re feeling sick, especially if you’ve vomited, whether at work or at home, you need to let your manager or your field leader know right away.”
However, he outlined that the salmonella outbreak likely stemmed from chopped tomatoes. As a result, Chipotle now washes and dices tomatoes in central locations, and ships the ready-to-use tomatoes to its restaurants nationwide. The company is not sure as to the cause of E. coli contamination in over a dozen states.
As an incentive to regain the trust of consumers, Chipotle announced on Monday that it was offering a free burrito to those who were inconvenienced by the four-hour shutdown for the food safety meeting.
“If we messed up your lunch plans today, follow the steps and we’ll hook you up,” it posted on its website in a promotion that ended at 6 p.m. last night.
“People will come back,” Chipotle founder and co-CEO Steve Ells told employees during the meeting.
As previously reported, Ells is an open homosexual, and the company has participated in numerous homosexual pride events nationwide, including the Capital Pride parade in Washington, D.C. and the Philly Pride parade in Philadelphia.
In 2013, the chain utilized a float upon which sat a man riding a giant burrito wrapped in tin foil. On the side of the float was a sign that read “So big you can ride it,” with an image of a rainbow-wrapped burrito in the center. Some considered the float as being sexually suggestive or making a reference to sodomy.
Employees have also been known to wear “Homo estas?” t-shirts—a pun of “Como estas?” which means “How are you?” in Spanish. Last July, following the U.S. Supreme Court “gay marriage” decision, the company Tweeted “Homo estas? Very well, thank you. #lovewins”
The company also distributed flyers at gay pride events last year that read “Homo estas” and asked “Which way do you sway?” On each side of the question was a pin, one of which said “I Eat Tacos” and the other reading “I Eat Burritos.” Outlets referred to the flyers as being “provocative” and making a “not-so-subtle … genital reference of burritos and tacos.”