Several weeks ago, my partner and I tried Chipotle’s new vegan tofu offering, Sofritas, for the first time. I have to say, we were impressed. So impressed, in fact, that Sunday night my partner and I decided to have Sofritas again. We invited his vegetarian-all-her-life sister to accompany us.
I ordered the same Sofritas bowl as before – white rice, pinto beans, Sofritas, salsas.
Except this time … the Sofritas just didn’t taste the same (although the tofu I examined looked the same).
And about 3/4 of the way through, I noticed the bowl came with a little surprise.
“THAT’S a big piece of tofu,” I thought, prodding it with my fork.
And then I realized it was chicken. Not just a little shred of chicken, but a huge chunk – big enough to cut into four bite-size pieces.
My partner and his sister started in horror at the chicken in my bowl. She whipped out her phone and began documenting the cross contamination for me. These are her pictures, completely unaltered.
Now, I am always careful at these “make it while you watch” restaurants. I keep my gaze on the workers, making sure they don’t automatically throw a handful of cheese into my burrito or accidentally spoon out a serving of chicken or beef. The workers at Chipotle tonight seemed to be reasonably careful, waiting for instruction and scooping out of the proper bin. Additionally, the assembly area seemed tidy and clean. No red flags.
So how did chicken get into my vegan Sofritas bowl?
We called over the manager, a nice young man named Gerardo, and showed him the chicken.
He was very apologetic and offered a refund or another Sofritas bowl. He explained accidents and cross-contamination like that happened, because Sofritas are kept in the meat section and items occasionally fell off the spoons and ended up in other bins.
We suggested the Sofritas be kept in the lineup with the rice, beans, and veggies, and away from the meats.
Gerardo agreed that would be a good idea. He said Chipotle already separated the rice, beans, and veggies away from the meat and the guacamole away from the cheese. However, Chipotle Corporate dictates the exact order and placement of ingredients, and stores aren’t allowed to make changes on their own. He did give us the number of Chipotle Corporate to call with our complaint and suggestions.
You can bet Chipotle will be hearing from me!
I urge everyone to join me in asking Chipotle to move their Sofritas away from the meats to avoid this kind of cross-contamination.
Unless and until they do, I will definitely not be eating any more Sofritas!
Chipotle’s Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/chipotle
Chipotle’s “Fan Email”: http://www.chipotle.com/en-US/talk_to_us/general_comments/general_comments.aspx