Chipotle carnitas fans may not be able to order their favorite protein. The company has stopped using pork from one of its suppliers, creating a carnitas shortage at around 1,700 restaurants around the country.
Chipotle Communications Director Chris Arnold told The Times the shortage would not affect Los Angeles and New York City locations of the restaurant.
During a routine audit of one of its suppliers, the burrito chain found the supplier was not meeting the company's standards.
"This is fundamentally an animal welfare decision, and is rooted in our unwillingness to compromise our standards where animal welfare is concerned," Arnold said in an email to The Times. "Without this pork, we cannot get enough pork that meets our responsibly raised standard for all our restaurants, and we will not be able to serve carnitas at some locations."
Those standards include having the pigs raised with outdoor access or in deeply bedded pens, without the use of antibiotics.
Arnold said the company is looking into adding new suppliers and finding additional cuts of pork to use. He anticipates rebuilding the pork supply to take some time, and doesn't know when the shortage will end.