US: Experts mixed on Chipotle’s plans to test produce
Nation’s Restaurant News: Will screening help restaurant chains avoid foodborne illness outbreaks?
Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc.’s plans to do more high-resolution testing of all fresh produce for potential pathogens may be industry leading, but food safety experts are mixed about the effectiveness of such screening efforts for the prevention of foodborne illness.
Last week, Chipotle said it is establishing more robust protocols for food safety and food handling in the aftermath of an ongoing outbreak of E. coli that has sickened 52 people in nine states. Health officials have yet to identify the specific source of the outbreak. .
Chipotle’s new protocols, however, include DNA-based tests of all fresh produce before it is shipped to restaurants, a program that company officials described as far exceeding requirements of state and federal regulatory agencies, putting Chipotle at the forefront of the restaurant industry.