After E. coli and norovirus outbreaks, Chipotle founder promises new food safety practices

After multiple food illness outbreaks, Chipotle's founder is promising new food safety practices.

"This was a very unfortunate incident and I'm deeply sorry that this happened, but the procedures we're putting in place today are so above industry norms that we are going to be the safest place to eat," Chipotle founder and co-Chief Executive Officer Steve Ells said on NBC's "Today" program.

He was responding to this week's news that 80 people became ill with norovirus after dining at a Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc restaurant in Boston. Earlier this year, Chipotle restaurants in nine states made 52 people sick, causing the closures in some locations.

From HuffPo:

Ells said the affected Boston restaurant would reopen after being completely sanitized and having all of its employees tested for norovirus, which is highly contagious and spread easily through contaminated food and surfaces.

More than 120 people in the northeastern U.S. city reported symptoms.

Regarding the E. coli outbreak, Ells said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has still not found an exact source for the bacteria, which can cause severe diarrhea and vomiting.

He said Chipotle's new food safety procedures will put it 10 to 15 years ahead of industry standards.

"We're doing a lot to rectify this and to make sure this doesn't happen again."

No wonder there weren't many people in the Los Angeles Chipotle my wife and I ate at yesterday! Above,

a photo my wife took of the same Chipotle restaurant the day after reports of ChipotlE. Coli in other parts of the country. At one point, we were the only customers during lunch.