Chipotle’s carnitas crisis might be over

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Chiptole Mexican Grill has signed up a new pork supplier. | Getty Images

If you’ve missed out on a carnitas burrito or bowl at a Chiptole Mexican Grill, you’re wait might be over.

Chipotle has signed up a new pork supplier to fill a gap that, at one time, affected about a third of the chain’s restaurants.

The Denver-based chain suspended a supplier in January for violations of Chipotle standards for how animals are raised and treated. Chipotle demands that its suppliers raise pigs in humane conditions with access to the outdoors, rather than in cramped pens.

“Committed to finding a new source of pork that we would be proud to serve, we investigated many possible options,” Chiptole said in a post on its website. “After lots of travel and research, we eventually found an excellent supplier called Karro Food in the United Kingdom.”

Karro’s practices meet or exceed Chipotle’s animal welfare standards but it follows European standards for use of antibiotics when needed to keep an animal healthy, Chipotle said.

“Our decision to source pork from this new supplier does not mean that Chipotle’s animal welfare protocols are changing at this time,” the company said. “While we prefer to buy pork raised entirely without antibiotics, we are proud to be serving pork from Karro because the responsible way Karro uses antibiotics is consistent with their extremely high animal welfare standards.”

“It has always been our preference to get our pork (and other meats) from domestic suppliers, but right now the supply simply isn’t available,” a Chipotle spokesperson told CNNMoney. “Upwards of 95 percent of pork produced in this country is conventionally raised, so the available supply that meets our high standards is relatively small.”

Chipotle said it will keep looking for domestic pork suppliers.

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