By Dan BongardThe latest recall is a significant blow to Chipotle.
The fast food giant is in a difficult spot, as it’s still reeling from the news that its supply of its signature burritos was contaminated with salmonella bacteria.
In an effort to get the word out, the chain announced it was temporarily recalling about 200 million meals to comply with a court order.
The company said it would also sell a limited number of its popular chicken nuggets, as well as other popular items, including chicken tacos.
“We want to offer our customers the freshest possible products and we want to make sure that we’re providing a safe environment to do that,” Chipotle CEO Steve Ells said on a conference call.
Chipotle said the recall affects more than 1.3 million of its 2.2 million restaurants in the U.S. and Canada.
It also has about 3 million employees in the United States and some in Canada.
“It’s a big concern,” said Jeff Toth, a food safety expert and former president of the U of L College of Agriculture.
“I would say it’s probably the largest recall in the history of Chipotle.”
He said it could cause a ripple effect through the chain’s restaurants.
“I think that the impact could be huge,” he said.
The food safety recall was first reported by the Chicago Tribune.
It included more than 2 million of the company’s chicken nugget sandwiches.
A few hours after the announcement, the company recalled a similar number of the burrito sandwiches.
“The Chipotle burrito was found to be contaminated with Salmonella,” Chipotas statement said.
“The contaminated sandwich was not a Chipotle product.”
It also said the contaminated burrito contained a large number of ingredients and that it is “extremely unlikely that Chipotle would knowingly put the public at risk.”
Chipotle has been under fire from consumers in recent months, and its stock has dropped as investors wonder if the company will be able to keep its reputation intact.
A recent ABC News/Washington Post poll found that 63% of respondents said they believed the chain should be held accountable for the salmonellosis outbreak, while 28% said they thought it should be taken down.