US – US restaurant chain Chipotle last week took pork off the menu of about a third of its 1,700 restaurants because a supplier was not following the company’s strict welfare standards.
Chipotle Mexican Grill is not naming the supplier, but it is reported that the restaurant chain has stopped taking pork from that source because a routine audit discovered that the pigs did not have outdoor access or access to deeply bedded barns.
Stopping taking pork from the supplier has caused a supply chain shortfall, hence the meat was taken off the menu at about 600 restaurants.
Chipotle spokesman Chris Armold is reported in the US media as saying that the decision was an animal welfare decision and the company was not prepared to compromise its standards.
The company ethos is: “Food with integrity is our commitment to finding the very best ingredients raised with respect for the animals, the environment and the farmers.”
“The company’s welfare standards add: “It means serving the very best sustainably raised food possible with an eye to great taste, great nutrition and great value.
“It means that we support and sustain family farmers who respect the land and the animals in their care.
“It means that whenever possible we use meat from animals raised without the use of antibiotics or added hormones.
“And it means that we source organic and local produce when practical. And that we use dairy from cows raised without the use of synthetic hormones.
“Food With Integrity is a journey that started more than a decade ago and one that will never end.”
The suspension of pork on the menu has mainly affected the “carnitas” topping for the company’s burritos, burrito bowls and tacos.
A notice on one Chipotle restaurant reads: 'Sorry, No Carnitas, Due to supply constraints, we are currently unable to serve our Responsibly Raised pork. Trust us, we're just as disappointed as you, and as soon as we get it back, we'll let the world know.'
TheMeatSite News Desk