Reports of sick customers and employees at a Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurant in Los Angeles this week has caused the company’s stock to drop 5% on Wednesday and another 2% on Thursday.
A spokesperson for Chipotle said that the company takes any report related to illness seriously.
The spokesperson said that Chipotle was aware of employees who were sick at one of its Los Angeles locations. That, said the spokesperson, was reported to health officials and the employees were not working.
Out of an abundance of caution, a heightened plan of preventative procedures was implemented at the location, said the spokesperson. Adding that the local health authorities inspected the location and were pleased with what was being done. The restaurant is open.
A spokesperson for the Department of Public Health for Los Angeles County confirmed that it was investigating a report from the corporate offices of Chipotle of employees who are ill with diarrhea, nausea and vomiting on Pico Boulevard in Los Angeles.
Chipotle continues to cooperate in the ongoing investigation and public health is determining what the cause of the employees’ illness was.
However, the Iwaspoisoned.com site, which is a crowdsourced sit that allows people to report concerns of food safety, said four incidents were reported by customers who ate at the same Chipotle on Pico Boulevard and came down sick within the last week.
Several reported fever and vomiting after they had eaten at the Chipotle. However, none of them posted on that site said they visited a doctor for the symptoms.
The Chipotle spokesperson said the company was aware of a few of the reports on reporting sites there was no clinical validation that was associated with the reports.
Nevertheless, the incident at the restaurant in Los Angeles is the most recent setback for the chain as it attempts to record from its many problems over the last few years.
Chipotle stock is 20% down in 2017, even as many other stocks in the restaurant industry have soared on solid sales as well as a surge in mergers.
Chipotle once was the fast casual dining darling but all that changed after an outbreak of E.coli affecting several restaurants in different states during 2015.
Although the Center for Disease Control declared in February of 2016 that the outbreak ended and sales have rebounded somewhat, many investors and consumers remain wary of the company.