Chipotle’s Pork Shortage Hits Orange County


chipotle-porkIf you’re yearning for a carnitas burrito at Chipotle Mexican Grill, think twice before you stop by the fresh-Mex restaurant.

The Denver chain’s Orange County restaurants are the latest victims of a company-wide pork shortage that has impacted about a third of its 1,700 restaurants. In January, Chiptole stopped serving carnitas at hundreds of locations after learning one of its pork suppliers had violated its animal welfare standards.

Since then, the company has been rotating pork supplies to hundreds of stores across the country, leaving certain regions without the fatty fried meat. Southern California restaurants, including Orange County, have been out of pork since mid-February.

“Restaurants in Southern California began running out about two weeks ago. They can expect to be out for about a month,” company spokesman Chris Arnold told the Register.

In random calls to Chiptole restaurants in Orange County, employees said Friday they didn’t expect carnitas to return for another month.

Chipotle would not name the pork supplier in question. The company has said the violations concerned the housing of pigs. The chain requires its suppliers to raise pigs in humane conditions with access to the outdoors.

Arnold said the company is working to solve the shortage. “We are looking for additional suppliers, considering using additional cuts of pork to add to the available supply, and working with current suppliers to get additional pork from them.”

posted 03/10/15 by Andrea Gonzalez