WBEZ | food poisoning http://www.wbez.org/tags/food-poisoning-0 Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en After Chipotle Outbreaks, Will 'Food With Integrity' Still Resonate? http://www.wbez.org/programs/all-things-considered/2016-01-25/after-chipotle-outbreaks-will-food-integrity-still <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/chipotle.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chipotle Mexican Grill is struggling to convince its customers it&#39;s a safe place to eat, after several outbreaks of foodborne illnesses have sickened hundreds of its customers. But no one thinks the task is going to be easy.</p><p>&quot;This is a fairly significant problem for Chipotle,&quot;<a href="http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/faculty/directory/calkins_timothy.aspx">&nbsp;Timothy Calkins</a>, clinical professor of marketing at Northwestern University&#39;s Kellogg School of Management, tells us. While customers are often quick to forgive companies for transgressions, that may not be the case this time, he says.</p><p>&quot;The difficult thing for Chipotle is that, it&#39;s not that there was one incident. There have been a number of different incidents,&quot; he says. &quot;And the problem with that is that it creates an overall perception, and it raises questions about safety.&quot;</p><p>The once-high-flying restaurant chain has been hit with&nbsp;<a href="http://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/2015/O26-11-15/index.html">two separate outbreaks of E. coli</a>&nbsp;over the past three months. The larger one sickened 52 people in October, mostly in Washington and Oregon, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A separate outbreak in November sickened five people in Kansas, North Dakota and Oklahoma, the agency said.</p><p>In December, scores of students at Boston College&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbur.org/2015/12/10/chipotle-sickness-practices">fell ill</a>&nbsp;after eating at a nearby Chipotle, an outbreak the company said was due to a norovirus, which causes vomiting, nausea and diarrhea.</p><p>And in August, a salmonella outbreak in Minnesota sickened 64 people who had eaten at Chipotle. The state&#39;s Department of Health later linked the illness to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.health.state.mn.us/news/pressrel/2015/salmonella091615.html">tomatoes served at the chain</a>.</p><p>Founded in Colorado more than two decades ago, Chipotle has enjoyed rapid growth by positioning itself as a healthy, fresh alternative to traditional fast-food chains, a company that serves &quot;food with integrity.&quot;</p><p>&quot;To eat at Chipotle was sort of the ethically and ecologically right thing to do, which resonated with a great deal of customers,&quot; says Andrew Alvarez, an analyst at<a href="http://www.ibisworld.com/">IBISWorld,</a>&nbsp;a market research firm.</p><p>The multiple outbreaks of foodborne illnesses have struck at the very heart of that image, says John Stanton, professor of food marketing at St. Joseph&#39;s University in Philadelphia.</p><div id="res461929381" previewtitle="Chipotle Mexican Grill founder and CEO Steve Ells, shown here in an interview with The Associated Press last month, says the company intends to become a leader in food safety."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Chipotle Mexican Grill founder and CEO Steve Ells, shown here in an interview with The Associated Press last month, says the company intends to become a leader in food safety." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2016/01/04/ap_976775719604-298979658dcf222b2ac6a8bbe749a4fde0a7bd1f-s400-c85.jpg" style="height: 232px; width: 310px; float: right;" title="Chipotle Mexican Grill founder and CEO Steve Ells, shown here in an interview with The Associated Press last month, says the company intends to become a leader in food safety. (Stephen Brashear/AP)" /></div><div><div><p>&quot;They&#39;ve kind of positioned themselves as a special company that caters to the fresh and delicious product, etc., and they&#39;ve let people down. And when you let people down, they take that pretty seriously,&quot; Stanton tells us.</p></div></div></div><p>The bad publicity has&nbsp;<a href="http://www.thestreet.com/story/13387648/1/chipotle-mexican-grill-cmg-stock-plunges-as-e-coli-outbreak-weighs-on-q4-sales.html">taken a toll on the bottom line</a>&nbsp;at the company, which has warned that its sales fell in the last quarter of 2015. Once a darling of Wall Street, Chipotle&#39;s stock fell 30 percent last year, and the company says its sales have fallen by as much as 11 percent.</p><p>Chipotle has responded by promising to become an<a href="http://ir.chipotle.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=194775&amp;p=irol-newsArticle&amp;ID=2120228">&quot;industry leader in food safety.&quot;</a>&nbsp;A press release promised more stringent testing of produce, better training of employees and &quot;continuous improvements throughout its supply chain, using data from test results to enhance the ability to measure the performance of its vendors and suppliers.&quot;</p><p>The company&#39;s founder and CEO, Steve Ells, also apologized for the outbreaks in a Dec. 10 interview on NBC&#39;s&nbsp;Today&nbsp;show:</p><blockquote><div><p><em>&quot;It was a very unfortunate incident, and I&#39;m deeply sorry this has happened, but the procedures we&#39;re putting in place today are so above industry norms that we are going to be the safest place to eat.&quot;</em></p></div></blockquote><p>But a message of contrition could be hard to sell to customers, Stanton says.</p><p>&quot;I mean, my first question, as soon as they said that, was why didn&#39;t they do that originally? I mean, they obviously weren&#39;t doing all they could to make their products safe, and they&#39;re now paying a price for it,&quot; he says.</p><p>Northwestern&#39;s Calkins says companies can eventually recover from public relations disasters such as this one. Chipotle first has to discover the source of the recent outbreaks, he says.</p><p>Once it does, Calkins says, &quot;they need to get out there and get people feeling good. They&#39;ve got to invest a lot in advertising, so that when people think about Chipotle, they&#39;re not thinking about food safety. They&#39;re thinking about that great brand, and the food they love so much.&quot;</p><p>Calkins says other companies, such as Toyota, have come back from big public relations disasters, so it is possible. But he says it will take time for Chipotle to crawl out of the hole it has stumbled into.</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/01/05/461925691/after-chipotle-outbreaks-will-food-with-integrity-still-resonate?ft=nprml&amp;f=461925691" target="_blank"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Mon, 25 Jan 2016 12:32:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/all-things-considered/2016-01-25/after-chipotle-outbreaks-will-food-integrity-still Agroterrorism: Food poisoning brought to a new level http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/agroterrorism-food-poisoning-brought-new-level-107502 <p><div>Poison expert <strong>Dr. Jerrold Leikin</strong> reveals the history and nature of agroterrorism, or how the human food supply has been used as a weapon to launch a multitude of toxins. Dr. Leikin talks about our vulnerabilities and describes some horrific biological, chemical and radiological food contamination events.He tells of the numerous valiant food employees who have been &ldquo;the first non-clinical professionals to identify and respond to incidences of agroterrorism.&rdquo;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Dr. Leikin is currently Director of Medical Toxicology at NorthShore University HealthSystem-OMEGA and also Associate Director of the Toxicon Consortium based at Cook County Hospital. In addition, he is a Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago&rsquo;s Pritzker School of Medicine and Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology at Rush Medical College.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Dr. Leikin served as co-editor of both the Poisoning and Toxicology Handbook (CRC Press) and the American Medical Association Handbook of First Aid and Emergency Care. House. He is currently on staff at seven hospitals, five medical schools and three poison centers.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/CHC-webstory_45.jpg" title="" /></div></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Recorded live on Saturday, May 18, 2013 at the Chicago History Museum.</div></p> Sat, 18 May 2013 16:09:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/agroterrorism-food-poisoning-brought-new-level-107502 Seven Illinois residents sick from salmonella http://www.wbez.org/story/seven-illinois-residents-sick-salmonella-90015 <p><p>Seven Illinois residents have been sickened by a nationwide outbreak of salmonella that authorities say could be from ground turkey. The Illinois Department of Public Health is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as the United States Department of Agriculture, to try to nail down the exact source of the contamination.</p><p>Illinois Department of Public Health spokeswoman Melaney Arnold said it will be a very complicated process.</p><p>"It does take quite a lot of time to do the trace back just because of all the steps -- first of all recognizing that there is one particular type of strain of salmonella out there and then trying to make that link -- there are so many different steps and so many interviews that need to occur that it does take time," Arnold said.</p><p>According to Arnold, until a source is identified, Illinois residents can still buy ground turkey. Arnold recommends residents prepare and handle the meat safely, cooking the turkey to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. As long as people take the right precautions, she said, they should be fine.</p><p>Across the country, a total of 77 people have been affected by the strain, leading to one death. In Illinois the first case was reported to the state department of health in March, and the most recent case was reported June 29.</p><p>The USDA has yet to recall any turkey products in relation to the outbreak.&nbsp;</p><div>&nbsp;</div></p> Tue, 02 Aug 2011 20:45:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/seven-illinois-residents-sick-salmonella-90015