Chipotle seems to keep steady, despite its now countless health scandals. It seems that people will forever be ready to gamble their lives for reasonably-priced cultural imports commodified to the teeth (even if they have to pay extra for guac). To be fair, burrito bowls are the best thing ever created, so I don't particularly blame them.
Chipotle's latest food poisoning scandal has finally hit Hollywood though, as actor Jeremy Jordon stated he was recently hospitalized after eating from the much-maligned eatery. According to People Magazine, the Supergirl star posted a few Instagram videos of himself at the hospital on November 9, saying:
"I know I've advocated for them in the past, but they're terrible. I, as you can see, am in the hospital and I have fluids in my arm because the food did not agree with me, and I almost died." Since he posted the Instagram story, Chipotle's stock price has sunk 2.7 percent.
This small number is a lot more catastrophic than it looks at first glance. As mentioned, this isn't the first time Chipotle has been involved in this kind of scandal. It's been struggling for a while to move from a string of high-profile foodborne illness outbreaks, and it's getting more difficult to recover.
Talking to CNBC, Chipotle spokesperson Chris Arnold responded to the actor's claims saying: "We were sorry to hear Jeremy was sick and were able to get in touch with him directly regarding where and when he ate."
He continues: "there have been no other reported claims of illness at the restaurant where he dined. We take all claims seriously, but we can't confirm any link to Chipotle given the details he shared with us."
The food safety incidents have been battering Chipotle's sales and scaring away customers for two years now, even with same-store sales doing quite well. The incidents can't help but overshadow the sales numbers, as they shouldn't.
Not so long ago in July, news reports came out saying that customers were sickened by norovirus at a Chipotle branch in Sterling, Virginia. Then, a few days later, a viral cellphone video was released that showed rodents falling from the ceiling at a restaurant near Dallas.
Both of the chain's restaurants addressed the issues, with the Virginia location shuttered briefly to sanitize, while the Texas restaurant sealed up the rodents' entry point. This perhaps showed they can handle a bad situation, but once again, Chipotle's food safety policies are up for debate.
Even with Chipotle saying there is no conclusive evidence that Chipotle was the cause of his sickness, the Mexican style restaurant might not be able to withstand this hit. We'll see how they try to come back from this PR nightmare, as each new issue reminds consumers of past problems and makes the prospect of a full recovery more distant.