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NYC Chipotle restaurants close amid recent norovirus scare

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NEW YORK — Chipotle Mexican Grill blamed sick employees Monday for the two norovirus outbreaks that left over 100 customers sick last year.

The company closed stores for a few hours to discuss proper health and safety protocol but PIX11 discovered several locations in New York City had a host of health code violations.

The restaurant at 864 Broadway was given a B. No managers at the store has a food protection certificate, which trains employees in food protection practices to ensure food safety.

Inspectors also found flies at the restaurant.

Inspectors found live roaches and flies at the 1497 Third Avenue location on the Upper East Side.

We asked the manager why roaches were found here, but he closed the door on us.

At the 283 Seventh Avenue location in Chelsea the restaurant’s letter grade is pending.

Inspectors found a cold food item above 41 degrees, flies in food and non-food areas and that managers here failed to make the location vermin proof.

At the 150 East 44th Street location, inspectors put a C in the window.

Hot and cold food alike were being mishandled, flies were seen in food and non-food areas and manager failed to make the restaurant vermin proof. Its sewage disposal system was in shambles.

This afternoon, employees were hard at work preparing for customers with hats and gloves on as required by law.

“Any time any of our restaurants have issues with health inspections, that is not up to our high standards,” said Chris Arnold, a Chipotle spokesman.

“We have spent the last few months enhancing food safety standards in all facets of our operations — from the farms that produce our ingredients to our restaurants — and realigned incentives for our restaurant managers to be sure they are keenly focused on all aspects of food safety.”