Chipotle Mexican Grill, the food chain that has always had a strong commitment to responsibly sourcing ingredients, has halted serving pork (carnitas) at hundreds of its restaurants. A supplier to about a third of the chain's outlets has violated their "responsibly raised" standards, discovered during a routine check. The violations were primarily in connection to housing for the animals, mandated by Chipotle to be humane, with access to the outdoors, and barring use of cramped pens.
A company representative stated, "This is fundamentally an animal welfare decision, and is rooted in our unwillingness to compromise our standards where animal welfare is concerned." The Chipotle website's Food With Integrity statement proclaims, "We call this style of farming and ranching naturally raised, and since 2001, Chipotle has sourced 100% of our pork from producers who follow these guidelines."
So for now, signs in about a third of the chain's more than 1,600 restaurants say: SORRY, NO CARNITAS.