You might only have two options for meat if you visit Chipotle today.
The company announced Tuesday that it would be suspending sales of its pork option at one-third of its stores – 1,700 restaurants – after a routine audit found that at least one of its meat suppliers wasn't living up to Chipotle's animal welfare standards.
Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold said the company's standards require suppliers to raise pigs with outdoor access or in deeply bedded barns to ensure they're comfortable. In addition, Chipotle's standards require that the suppliers not use any antibiotics on the pigs.
"It's the way animals were raised before huge factory farms changed the industry. We believe pigs that are cared for in this way enjoy happier, healthier lives and produce the best pork we've ever tasted," Chipotle states on its website.
Arnold said the company could go ahead and sell conventionally raised pork, but that would mean falling "well short" of its own standards.
"And [we] simply aren't willing to make that compromise," Arnold told NBC News.
To substitute for the amount of pork it had been getting from the supplier in violation of standards, Chipotle is considering procuring more of the meat from existing suppliers or just finding more pork suppliers.
“The differences in animal welfare between pigs raised this way and pigs that are conventionally raised [are] stark, and we simply won’t compromise our standards this way,” a spokesman told MarketWatch in an email.
(H/T: NBC News)
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