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Chipotle CEO: 'We Are Going to Be the Safest Place to Eat'

Following E. coli and norovirus outbreaks, Steve Ells publicly apologizes to customers.

Tough times for Chipotle: Following the disastrous E. coli outbreak that spread across nine states and sickened more than 50 people, the burrito chain is now facing a norovirus outbreak at a Boston store that has made 120 people sick. Clearly the company realized a press release wasn't going to cut it this time, instead sending CEO Steve Ells to face the music on the Today Show.

Ells began this morning's tough interview with Matt Lauer by apologizing to his customers, saying, "I'm sorry for the people who got sick. They're having a tough time and I feel terrible about that. We're doing a lot to rectify this and make sure it doesn't happen again."

Ells admitted that the number of people sickened from the most recent norovirus outbreak could still grow, as it's a virus that passes very easily from person to person. He also stated that before the Boston store where the norovirus outbreak occurred reopens, it will be sanitized and every employee will be tested for the infection.

Looking ahead, Ells promises the company is instating tough new guidelines to ensure foodborne illness outbreaks are a thing of the past: "The procedures we're putting in place today are so above industry norms that we are going to be the safest place to eat,'' he pledges. Lauer points out that the company still hasn't been able to pinpoint the exact cause of the E. coli outbreak, saying, "If you can't identify the source, how do you go about eliminating it in the future?"

Watch Ells' full interview with Matt Lauer, below:

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