NEW YORK (PIX11) – After discovering that a supplier violated several animal treatment standards, Chipotle decided to suspend the sale of pork at roughly a third of the popular Mexican chain’s 1,700 locations.
“This is fundamentally an animal welfare decision, and is rooted in our unwilligness to compromise our standards where animal welfare is concerned,” said Communications Director Chris Arnold in an email. “Serving pork from conventionally raised pigs is not an option to us.”
A routine audit found several violations, but Chipotle declined to specify which they found.
“Our Responsibly Raised pork comes from pigs that are raised with outdoor access or in deeply bedded pens, and without the use of antibiotics.” Conventionally raised pigs are often raised in crowded, indoor spaces with little or no bedding and are given antibiotics to keep them from getting sick.
Restaurants in New York City were among those affected by the shortage, one placed a sign on the front door Wednesday morning reading, “SORRY, NO CARNITAS.”
It’s unclear how long it will take to get carnitas back on the menu, but Arnold told PIX11 that possible solutions include adding new suppliers, finding additional cuts of pork to use and growing the supply among existing suppliers.