by Jenna Mullins | Thu., Jan. 14, 2016 2:23 PM
ALERT. ALERT. THIS IS NOT A DRILL. WE REPEAT, THIS IS NOT A DRILL. PLEASE DO NOT PANIC.
Deep breath, everyone. OK. Here it goes: Chipotle will be closing all its restaurants for one day. That means for a few hours on this one day, you will not have access to Chipotle.
You're panicking, aren't you? Put your head between your legs and breathe deeply. Now everyone is staring at you. And you still have to deal with the fact that Chipotle is going to burrito-block you in a couple weeks. We're not helping with the panicking, are we? Sorry. But once you hear why Chipotle is closing its doors for a little bit, you'll feel much better.
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Due to the E. coli outbreak that has been plaguing the company since October, Chipotle will shutter all its stores for a few hours on Feb. 8 for a national all-employee meeting about the plans to eliminate the issue, a rep confirms to E! News. The closure is to give execs time to answer questions about the outbreak and to go over a new marketing plan to bring customers back.
So Feb. 8 is the date to circle in your "Burrito Lovers of America" calendar. And plan to brown bag it to work on that day, because Chipotle might not be open if the carnitas urge hits you. Sure, the restaurants will only be closed for a limited time period, but if those hours coincide with your lunch break…ruh-roh!
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During an investor conference in Florida on Wednesday, Chipotle CEO Steve Ells reported that execs met with officials from the Center for Disease Control last week to discuss the widespread food borne illness, which caused 43 stores to close in November and has infected at least 53 people in nine states thus far.
"I'm hopeful that the CDC will call this over soon," Ells said. "We know that Chipotle is as safe as it's ever been before. We are all very confident that this E. coli outbreak would not happen again."
Chipotle has already implemented new food safety measures, though they still have yet to find the initial cause of the E. coli outbreak.
In summary: Feb. 8 = B-Day. And not the good, birthday kind of B-Day. We're talking "no burrito day." But if it's all to make sure customers stop getting sick, we're willing to miss out on Chipotle for a day.