Chipotle has been rocked by E. coli and norovirus outbreaks linked to its restaurants across nine states over the last several months.
It’s somewhat unprecedented for so many illness outbreaks to be linked to a single chain, according to experts.
Now some Chipotle fans are sharing a conspiracy theory that attempts to explain the unusual chain of events by blaming them on “corporate sabotage.”
“Chipotle’s E. coli outbreaks are not random chance,” reads an article published on the website NaturalNews.com that has been shared widely on social media. “They are the result of the biotech industry unleashing bioterrorism attacks against the only fast food company that has publicly denounced GMOs.”
The article goes on to accuse the biotech industry of planting E. coli on Chipotle’s food in a “malicious attempt to destroy both the reputation and finances of the Chipotle food chain.”
“I am now openly encouraging Chipotle’s management to initiate a criminal investigation with the FBI to attempt to identify the sources of this corporate sabotage campaign,” the author, Mike Adams, writes.
The article has been shared thousands of times on social media, even though there is no evidence to back up the claims.
“I said that to my husband, I knew that Big Ag was behind it! You don’t get e-coli in organic foods. Chipotle said they couldn’t find anything in the food. Very suspicious!” wrote Facebook user Karen Conklin.
Another Facebook user wrote, “I said this last week! Glad I’m not the only one who thinks so.”
Food blogger “Kelly the Kitchen Cop” shared the story on her Facebook page and wrote, “From the first I heard about Chipotle’s e.coli problem I smelled a rat!”
We reached out to Chipotle for comment and will update this post when we hear back.
Other articles published by Natural News — the website that first published the theory — include: “Is your deodorant drugging you through the armpits daily with this neurotoxin?” and “Shock finding: More than 75% of all ‘honey’ sold in grocery stores contains no honey at all.”
Chipotle has conducted hundreds of tests on its food and preparation surfaces and still has not identified a source of the E. coli outbreak.
The company has said it is implementing strict new food preparation and cooking practices to improve safety.
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