Chipotle boosts paid-sick leave in name of safety

Chipotle to enforce paid-sick leave for safety

Chipotle Mexican Grill, under scrutiny for months over outbreaks of food-borne illnesses linked to its restaurants across the United States, is working hard to revamp its image.

The company will briefly close all its stores on Feb. 8 for a national employee meeting to address food-safety concerns and company changes.

Chief among them is a new sick-day policy. The fast-casual chain plans to use paid-sick leave to ensure that employees stay home when they're ill.

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A sign showing that the Chipotle Mexican Grill seen at 1924 Beacon St. is closed on December 8, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts.
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The company will also begin DNA-based testing for many of its ingredients to check the quality and safety of its produce. Chipotle also intends to alter food prep and food handling protocols and increase employee training.

"Over the last few months, we have been implementing an enhanced food safety plan that will establish Chipotle as an industry leader in food safety," said Steve Ells, co-CEO of Chipotle, in a statement. "Additionally, we have implemented unprecedented food safety standards with our suppliers, which make the food coming into our restaurants safer than ever before."