John Oliver said Chipotle must do more than close its stores for mandatory training meetings to restore trust in the safety of its food.
The fast food chain has experienced six food safety failures since July involving norovirus, salmonella and E. coli — and the company also faces a federal criminal investigation into the outbreaks.
Chipotle closed all 2,000 of its stores Feb. 1 for a company-wide food safety meeting — which Oliver said gave rival Subway “the best day it’s had since Jared went to prison,” referring to the disgraced sandwich spokesman convicted last year on child porn and underage sex charges.
Four hours of training might not be enough to fix some of Chipotle’s “systemic problems,” Oliver said, pointing to a health inspector’s report that noted a wild bird flying in one Florida eatery — which the manager said was a “regular nuisance” at the restaurant.
“Yeah, I know that bird,” Oliver imagined the manager saying. “He bought a soda like a year ago, and he just keeps filling it up. That bird’s a dick.”
However, the safety failures and temporary closures haven’t seemed to damage customer loyalty. Oliver played a few clips of customers saying they simply liked the food too much to stop eating at Chipotle.
“Hold on — they know it’s bad but they want it even more,” Oliver marveled. “Chipotle is now officially America’s emotionally abusive boyfriend.”
Oliver showed a fake commercial that suggested Chipotle is overrun by wild birds to deal with rodent infestations, and the phony ad claimed the restaurant once substituted plastic Easter grass for lettuce and thaws its meat by having a large, sweaty man breathe on it.
“I’m still pretty sure you’d come back,” says the manager in the mock spot. “And you know why? Because if Chipotle could persuade America that 1,000-calorie burritos are healthy — and we actually did that — well, then we can do anything we damn well please. Chipotle: What are you going to do — go to Taco Bell?”
Watch the entire segment posted online here: