Chipotle supplier suspension affects restaurants

Chipotle Mexican Grill (Image: Shutterstock)

NEW YORK (AP/WTNH) — Chipotle says it stopped serving pork at about a third of its restaurants after suspending a supplier that violated its standards.

Chris Arnold, a spokesman for the Mexican food chain, told The Associated Press it’s the first time the company stopped serving a topping for its burritos and bowls. He said Chipotle learned of the violation by the supplier on Friday through a routine audit, and did not have a timeline for when carnitas would return to affected stores.

Arnold says this suspension does not affect Connecticut restaurants; however, the five Connecticut Chioptle restaurants News 8 called Wednesday night said they are not serving pork.

When we made the decision to stop serving pork from this supplier, we issued a stock recovery to our restaurants (the pork would have already been in our restaurants). When we do that, the inventory we are requesting comes back from our restaurants to our distribution centers. It’s supposed to only cover the items we specifically request (in this case, pork from a particular supplier etc.). Sometimes, restaurants end up sending whatever they have on hand, whether it’s within the recovery request or not. I think that’s what happened there. In cases like that, they should be back to normal tomorrow, maybe the next day, as new deliveries go out to the restaurants.

The longer-term problem is that we don’t have enough pork, and that will keep about a third of our restaurants without for some time (we aren’t sure yet how long this could go on). If the restaurants are back to having pork in the next day or two, that will be the sign that they really don’t have pork rather than it being just a snafu associated with the recovery. –Chris Arnold

In New York City on Tuesday, a sign on the door of a Chipotle location stated, “SORRY, NO CARNITAS.”

Arnold declined to specify the nature of the supplier’s violation. But with pork, he said the most notable demand Chipotle makes of its suppliers is that pigs are raised in humane conditions.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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