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No pork at Rochester Chipotle restaurants following animal welfare audit

No pork at Rochester Chipotle restaurants following animal welfare audit

(THE MED CITY BEAT) - Chipotle has suspended pork sales at a third of its U.S. restaurants, including both of its Rochester locations, after one of its suppliers violated its animal welfare standards.

Both local restaurants confirmed to the Med City Beat Wednesday morning that pork, or "carnitas," is not on the menu.

A spokesperson for the Mexican food chain tells the AP it's the first time the company has stopped selling a topping for its burritos and bowls. Chipotle declined to identify the supplier, but said the concerns were mostly over the housing of pigs.

Chipotle has relatively strict standards for the animal products it serves compared to other fast food restaurants. According to the company's website, suppliers must raise pigs outside or in deeply-bedded barns, rather than small crates typically seen on large-scale industrial farms. The pigs also must be fed a vegetarian diet and cannot be given antibiotics. 

The company has at times offered conventionally raised beef, accompanied by a sign indicating the change, when its suppliers are unable to keep up with the demand of its customers. But the company says it will not do the same with pigs.

“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 company spokesperson tells the Wall Street Journal.

There is no timetable for when pork will return to the menu.


(Cover photo: File / Mr.TinDC / Creative Commons)

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