So, a Chipotle in Powell, Ohio made a bunch of people sick recently. Health officials in the county had received 518 inquiries as of Wednesday evening; per CBS, 200 people have been interviewed, and “food and samples from people have been sent to a state laboratory to test for salmonella, shigella, e.coli and norovirus.”
Well, CBS asked Eric Schiffer, CEO at Reputation Management Consultants, what he thought about that issue. Check this shit out:
“In most situations this would be a horrifying kiss of death, but with Chipotle it is baked into the brand’s story... The core demographic of Chipotle’s base that skews younger is not intimidated by these instances, they either aren’t aware, or don’t think it will happen to them.”
Man, that is a take. On the one hand, he’s right that a Chipotle story involving food poisoning feels like kinda old news—we’ve been there, right? On the other hand, he’s right that young people are sometimes really stupid about whether or not something will affect them negatively, and on the other hand, holy crap, he’s maybe sort of right?
It’s not the only perspective, though. Ben Chapman, associate professor and food safety extension specialist at North Carolina State University, told CBS that “Chipotle is a special case, because they were the source of so many cases in such a short amount of time,” adding: “They are under a microscope, and any blip that arises is important for the business on a scale different than others.”
That explains in part why an issue that seems to be limited to one restaurant had such an impact on Chipotle more broadly; the news “had investors dumping its shares on Tuesday.” That Ohio location has since re-opened, and a Chipotle spokesperson told CBS that the company “offers three days of paid sick leave each year to all of its employees.” So, guys, stay home if you can’t stop pooping, please.