On January 6th, Chipotle revealed that they had been issued a subpoena by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigations. The subpoena requires a myriad of documents concerning the outbreak of Norovirus that Chipotle caused in Simi Valley, California. The outbreak sickened a number of people and employees in August of 2015. The store responsible was closed after the outbreak began, and the restaurant was thoroughly cleaned. However, health officials found several issues with the restaurant even after the cleaning.
This Chipotle investigation is another in a growing trend of criminal investigations into outbreaks. This is now the third criminal investigation in recent years, with the first being the investigation concerning the Salmonella outbreak caused by the Peanut Corporation of America. More recently, the Department of Justice launched an investigation regarding the outbreak of Listeria associated with Blue Bell ice cream.