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Chipotle closed 43 restaurants in two states and saw its share price plunge by 22 percent.Chipotle closed 43 restaurants in two states and saw its share price plunge by 22 percent. (Elaine Thompson / AP)

Customers hungry for a burrito or taco last fall in Washington state or Oregon may have reached the door of their local Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. restaurant only to find the following sign: “FYI: We are sorry. But we are temporarily closed due to a supply chain issue. We will reopen as soon as possible.”

A “supply chain issue” sounds fairly harmless, but what was actually happening at the Denver-based, fast-casual food company was anything but. Chipotle temporarily shuttered 43 restaurants in the two states because of an E. coli outbreak linked to its restaurants.

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