Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE: CMG), a well known Mexican fast food chain, confirmed that on Tuesday few customers in the Chipotle branch located in Sterling, Virginia reported symptoms of the norovirus after eating at the popular fast food chain. Another virus outbreak by Chipotle has caused the stocks to severely plummet in the past few days. In the past week or so, there have been eight cases reported according to iwaspoisoned.com. The first cases were reported on July 14th and there were several more reported until July 17th according to the site. These customers have reported incidents of severe nausea and stomach pains, and even led to the worse case scenario where some were hospitalized.
The stock opened on July 14th at $398.48 a share when the first case of the norovirus was reported, and currently, as of July 18th the stock has plummeted over 20% since the market opened in the morning.
Jim Marsden, Chipotle’s executive director of the food safety, had reported and notified the local health department officials of the incident. Marsden also stated, "Norovirus does not come from our food supply, and it is safe to eat at Chipotle. We plan to reopen the restaurant today. We take every report of illness seriously. In accordance with our established protocols, our team is working to ensure the safety of our customers and employees, including voluntarily closing the restaurant yesterday to conduct a complete sanitization.”
It’s been awhile since the fast food chain had any serious health concerns or reports. Since the last reported health incident, the company seemed to be on positive upward trend, but throughout those years, incidents such as data breaches, lawsuits, and even drug allegations against the senior manager have hindered the company from growing, and then now, another illness outbreak caused by the company.
Incidents like this have occurred in the past as it seems to be a reoccurring theme causing negative impacts against the company’s image by scaring away customers, according to Neil Saunders, managing director of the GlobalData. He states that Chipotle has worked so hard to overcome previous obstacles damaging the company’s reputation, but incidents like this just cause more issues and more setbacks and shows the public that Chipotle is poorly managed business.