Chipotle Pulls Pork: One-Third Of Restaurants Goes Pork-Free

Chipotle’s free burrito promotion may be hitting headlines, but those burritos will not be containing pork at a third of the chain’s restaurants. Chipotle made the decision to pull pork from some menus after a meat supplier was found to be substandard.

In an email to CNNMoney, Chris Arnold, Chipotle Mexican Grill spokesperson, stated the following.

“We found a pork supplier that was not meeting our standards, so we have suspended our purchases from this supplier… We cannot get enough pork that meets our responsibly raised standard for all our restaurants, and we will not be able to serve carnitas in some locations.”

Carnitas is Spanish for “little meats.” It is usually made by simmering pork in oil until tender and falling apart. This process usually takes three or four hours. Each restaurant tends to have its own recipe that results in juicy, tender, and tasty meat.

Arnold told CNNMoney that Chipotle prides itself on their standard, which means the pork “comes from pigs that are raised with outdoor access or in deeply bedded pens, and without the use of antibiotics.”

A New York City restaurant is one of many stores to recently become pork free. The branch was notified earlier in this week about the shortage. According to one employee, there will not be any carnitas at that Chipotle for quite some time.

This is the first time Chipotle has had to remove a topping from the menu. Some 600 of the 1700 stores are affected.

Chipotle is one of the leading advocates for the ethical consumption of meat. This means that the animals that provide the filling for their burrito must be treated in an ethical and humane way. Arnold told the Washington Post that the company is unwilling to compromise their beliefs.

“This is fundamentally an animal welfare decision and it’s rooted in our unwillingness to compromise our standards where animal welfare is concerned.”

Unfortunately, Chipotle only became aware of the mistreatment during a audit of the supplier’s practices. It is unknown how long the breach of standards was happening.

Chipotle’s commitment is to serve “food with integrity.” The company strives to treat every aspect of the business with respect, this idea includes raising animals and harvesting produce. The mistreatment of animals does not fall within these ideals.

Chipotle is seeing support from Twitter fans over their decision to go pork-free.

The supplier’s name has not been released.

Is carnitas your favorite filling for burritos? Are any Chipotles pork-free near you?

[Image via commons.wikipedia.org]