Chipotle has added Karro Food, a British pork supplier, to help ease a carnitas shortage that began when the company suspended one of its domestic suppliers for not meeting the company’s housing standards. As a result, the chain is adding carnitas back to the menu at its 100+ locations in Florida, reports Bloomberg News.
“The new pork is just getting into restaurants in Florida, and we’ll continue to add new markets in the coming months as our supply increases,” Chris Arnold, a spokesman for the Denver-based company, said in an e-mail to Bloomberg. “We expect to have carnitas back in all of our restaurants before the end of the year.”
Chipotle made the announcement on its website, stating, “Committed to finding a new source of pork that we would be proud to serve, we investigated many possible options. But because so little pork is raised outside of the conventional system in the United States, we ultimately needed to look abroad as well. After lots of travel and research, we eventually found an excellent supplier called Karro Food in the United Kingdom. When our meat buyers and animal welfare team toured their farms, they were excited about the quality of the meat Karro is producing, and the ways in which their farming practices emphasize what’s best for the animal above all else.”
The company notes that Karro does follow European standards that allow for giving antibiotics to pigs when necessary to keep the animals healthy. The pork that Chipotle buys from U.S. farmers has never been given antibiotics.
“As a result, some of the pork we purchase from the UK comes from animals that were treated with antibiotics under veterinary supervision. But this does not mean that antibiotics are present in the meat. All animals treated with antibiotics (both in Europe and the U.S.) must undergo a withdrawal period before they are slaughtered, which means that meat from a pig treated with antibiotics will not contain antibiotic residue, just like meat from an animal that was never given antibiotics,” the company says.
Sources: Bloomberg News, Chipotle