Chipotle Considering Rolling Back New Food Safety Changes

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Just a month after Chipotle had pushed for new food safety changes, The Wall Street Journal reports the restaurant chain is considering stepping back from those protocols. The changes came amid a series of disease outbreaks. Chipotle food scares included two E.coli outbreaks as well as separate outbreaks of norovirus. Chipotle said last month it was conducting high-resolution DNA-based testing of many ingredients, but now some company officials say they are considering dialing back or eliminating pathogen testing on some ingredients. Chipotle appears to be banking on comments from its CEO earlier this year. Steve Ells in mid-January told attendees at an investment conference the public would quickly forget about the outbreaks and that profits would be bigger than ever. A Chipotle spokesperson told Fortune Magazine the restaurant remains committed to establishing itself as a leader in food safety, adding that “any changes we may make to our initial plans will be to strengthen what we are doing.” The company this week named food safety expert Jim Marsden to the newly created position of executive director of food safety. Meatingplace reports the company also said it expects a loss of $1 a share or more in the first quarter, which would represent its first-ever quarterly loss as a public company