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Chipotle's New Pre-Cooked Steak Is Being Compared to Canned Meatballs

The steak was changed in the wake of the company's food safety crisis

After a rash of E. coli outbreaks last year, Chipotle changed the way it prepares some of its ingredients in an effort to ensure food safety. That includes pre-cooking steaks off-site, then shipping them to stores where they're marinated and reheated on the grill before being served.

As Business Insider points out, many Chipotle customers seem less than thrilled by the revamped meat: While Chipotle spokesperson Chris Arnold says the response to the new steak "has been great," Twitter users have called it "gross" and "disgusting" while some customers took to Reddit to voice their opposition to the new preparation.

Even some Chipotle employees got in on the discussion, writing that the steak "never has a chance to be medium rare," and that customer reactions are "not good."

That's not to say the revamped beef doesn't have its fans:

Chipotle steak tweet

(Nostalgic childhood food memories aside, maybe a comparison to Spaghetti-o meatballs isn't so desirable.)

While Chipotle never publicly pinpointed the exact ingredient that led to multiple E.coli outbreaks across the country, company executives reportedly believe the source may have been contaminated Australian beef, which certainly makes a strong argument for more thoroughly cooked steak. (Conversely, the CDC believes produce was the culprit.)

Chipotle has suffered in a number of ways since the outbreak, which sickened hundreds and ultimately led to a federal investigation. The company's stock recently dropped to its lowest point in three years and the fast-casual chain continues to see slumping sales. A group of shareholders, who filed suit earlier this month, say executives profited even as the company was suffering — dumping stocks while telling the public the food was still safe to eat.