Aug. 16 (UPI) -- Chipotle employees face another round of food-safety training, CEO Brian Niccol said Thursday, after nearly 650 customers became sick from eating at an Ohio restaurant last month.
Ohio's Delaware General Health District said 647 people reported having gastrointestinal problems after eating at a Chipotle restaurant in Columbus. Stool samples for some of the ill tested positive for clostridium perfringens, a food-borne disease caused by eating food left out at unsafe temperatures.
Niccol said the company closed the location in question and will replace all food inventory and completely sanitize the facility.
He said all Chipotle employees -- about 70,000 people at 2,450 locations -- will be retrained on food safety and wellness protocols. The chain also will implement daily food safety routines to prevent future outbreaks.
"Chipotle has a zero-tolerance policy for any violations of our stringent food safety standards and we are committed to doing all we can to ensure it does not happen again," Niccol said.
The Denver-based company hired a food safety chief in March 2016 after outbreaks of norovirus and E. coli sickened dozens of people in 11 states and temporarily closed restaurants. All Chipotle restaurants closed down for one day in February 2016 for employee training in the wake of the food safety scandals.