Chipotle in South Lake Union closed for repeated food safety violations (UPDATED)

Update 12-11-15 4:58 p.m.: Westlake Chipotle approved for re-opening. This restaurant’s permit was suspended because hot food was not being kept above 130 degrees. Temperature control problems are fixed.chipotle inspection

UPDATE 12/10/15, 4:57 pm: Since the closures in November, our Food Safety Program has monitored all Chipotle restaurants closely, providing routine inspections. During this time nine Chipotle restaurants have been assessed as “unsatisfactory.” An unsatisfactory mark means that at least one red critical violation was documented. Our health inspectors don’t usually close restaurants until they have received 90 red critical points. Learn more about red critical violations here

We will continue to work with the SLU Chipotle on their food safety practices so that they may reopen. 

UPDATE 12/10/15, 4:25 pm: Public Health has received a preliminary report of a person experiencing gastrointestinal illness who ate at the Chipotle on Westlake Avenue N on Monday, December 7. This investigation is in the very earliest stage, so it is not known what the cause of illness is or whether it is linked to Chipotle. No test results are yet available. It may be several days to a week before there is any additional information. Any updates will appear on this blog post.

ORIGINAL POST: Public Health – Seattle & King County’s Food Safety Program closed the Chipotle Mexican Grill at 212 Westlake Ave. N today for repeated food safety violations.

Last month, forty-three Chipotle restaurants in Washington and Oregon voluntarily closed their doors when they became linked with an E. Coli outbreak. In order to re-open their facilities, restaurants were required to perform a top-down cleaning and sanitation, discard all produce, and pass an inspection by our health inspectors. On November 1o, all seventeen King County Chipotle restaurants met criteria to reopen their doors. 

In the time since, Public Health has continued to closely monitor Chipotle and has conducted inspections at all King County locations. The South Lake Union restaurant closed today has received red violations on three consecutive visits, including the inspection today (its second inspection since the E. coli outbreak). Red violations indicate improper practices or procedures identified as the most prevalent in contributing to foodborne illness. In each one of these inspections, the total red violation points were between 25-33 points out of 400 possible points, well below the 90 point threshold for a closure. However, because this location showed repeated violations, the health department closed the restaurant.

Public Health food program staff are working with Chipotle to correct these problems, and the restaurant will be allowed to re-open pending an inspection.

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