Chipotle Pulls Carnitas From A Third Of Restaurants After Supplier Violation

Hungry customers bellying up to the line at Chipotle with a hankering for carnitas may be disappointed in the days and weeks to come, as the eatery says a third of its restaurants — a number in the hundreds — won’t be carrying carnitas after suspending a supplier that violated its standards.

A spokesman for the chain told the Associated Press that this is the first time the company has ever stopped serving a topping for its burritos and bowls. The violation came to light on Friday after a routine audit, he said, without setting a timeline for when pork would be back on the menu.

“It’s hard to say how long it will last,” he said.

Most of the issues related to the violations center around how the pigs are housed. Chipotle’s requirements say suppliers must raise pigs in humane conditions and be able to get outside instead of spending their lives in cramped pens.

This is different than those times when Chipotle has warned customers for example, that it wouldn’t be serving meat that meets its “responsibility standards.” Those instances are usually because Chipotle hasn’t been able to get beef raised without antibiotics or hormones, and serves “conventionally raised beef” instead.

Carnitas is different, however — there’s no pork substitution to made with this, the spokesman notes.

Customers should keep an eye out for signs reading “SORRY, NO CARNITAS” and in the meantime, Chipotle says it will be figuring out how to proceed in the face of the carnitas shortage. That could mean different cuts of pork or other suppliers picking up the slack.

No pork at a third of Chipotle restaurants [Associated Press]