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Chipotle briefly closing in February to hold food-safety sessions

Chipotle restaurants, including the one in Hicksville, will

Chipotle restaurants, including the one in Hicksville, will close Feb. 8 for company-wide meetings on food safety. Photo Credit: Newsday File Photo / Bill Davis

Feb. 8 won’t be national burrito day.

Chipotle, upended by repeated cases of food poisoning, plans to shut all its outlets for several hours on that date to hold company-wide meetings on food safety.

“All U.S. restaurants will be closed for lunch and will reopen at 3 p.m. in each time zone,” Chipotle communications director Chris Arnold said in an e-mail to Newsday.

Since August, Chipotle restaurants have had outbreaks of E. coli, norovirus and salmonella that affected hundreds of customers. Numerous lawsuits have been filed against Chipotle and more are expected.

Arnold said, “We are hosting a national team meeting on Feb. 8 to thank our employees for their hard work through this difficult time, discuss some of the food safety changes we are implementing, and answer questions from employees.”

There are 1,900-plus Chipotle outlets in the United States, including 27 on Long Island. A Chipotle spokesman said that there has not been a case of E. coli reported in the last two months.

The company projects an 8 percent drop in fourth-quarter sales for 2015. Chipotle stock is down more than a third since the outbreaks.

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