Connecticut residents and one legislator are reacting to the news that Chipotle restaurants are facing a criminal investigation.
After a Norovirus outbreak at a California restaurants this summer, the sales had sagged at the popular Mexican grill.
While there have been no reported issues here in Connecticut, some diners told Eyewitness News it’s something they're paying attention to.
"We talked about how there had been all these issues going on with Chipotle's health standards,” John McGowan, of New Haven, said. “But I read they were doing a lot, new oversight, regulations, so it restored a little bit of confidence."
The United States Attorney's Office out of California along with the Food and Drug Administration wants a number of documents as it looks into a Norovirus outbreak at a California location back in August.
"But a federal investigation, let them do their due diligence,” Jordan Reinhold, of Guilford, said.
In October and November the chain suffered E. coli outbreaks, which was followed up by another Norovirus case at a restaurant in Boston. That type of outbreak at restaurants typically occurs when an employee is sick.
While the company said sales plunged 30 percent last month, some said they still need their fix.
"It made we want to go there. I really live Chipotle, always have,” Rebecca Ruotolo, of Guilford, said.
U.S. congresswoman Rosa DeLauro said she supports the investigation into the California location and was “glad” Chipotle officials were cooperating with authorities.
“Restaurants that mishandle food-borne illness outbreaks and allow them to happen must be held accountable for their actions,” DeLauro said in a statement on Wednesday.
DeLauro said these cases of last year’s Norovirus and E. coli outbreaks are important to watch because the safety of American consumers is at stake.”
“The restaurant industry must do everything it can to prevent these outbreaks and improve its response in order to stop them sooner. These deadly food-borne illnesses are preventable and I will continue to fight for stronger reforms and a single food safety agency that will have greater oversight of the industry,” DeLauro said.
As for the investigation, Chipotle officials said they will cooperate fully and has already vowed to make changes with how its food is prepared and tested.
"I think more oversight it’s always a good thing,” McGowan said. “But it’s still kind of in the back of my mind when I visit Chipotle."
While the Food and Drug Administration investigates, Chipotle's CEO said it’s likely the company will never know what tainted ingredient caused the E. coli cases.
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