Chicken & Rice Guys (Mostly) Reopens Following E. Coli Link
After a week and a half of deliberation following an E. coli outbreak traced to the Boston-based Chicken & Rice Guys, the company is (mostly) in the clear: the Boston Public Health Commission gave the company the green light to begin reopening, starting with its Medford restaurant on Friday.
Cofounders Jenny Giang, Ian So, and Kevin Lau shared the news in a Facebook post last week. Along with the announcement, the team disclosed the results of the tests and inspections they’ve undergone as of late.
“Since last Tuesday, testing of CNR’s employees, our food, and our facilities have all shown no traces of E. coli,” the cofounders wrote. “As such, the Boston Public Health Commission has given us the ‘all clear’ to resume operations pending re-inspection Saturday. We couldn’t be more proud of our amazing team, who received nothing but compliments for their professionalism, cooperation, and honesty from the BPHC during this difficult time.”
You can read the post in full below.
In light of the good news, the restaurant’s brick-and-mortar sites in Medford, Allston, and Downtown Crossing are officially open again. After a few more inspections, the company’s food trucks are expected to follow suit, but they currently remain closed. According to CBS, Boston food trucks are subject to additional layer of tests and hurdles.
To strike down any hesitance about returning to the restaurant, Boston Inspectional Services commissioner William Christopher made sure he was first in line to taste-test the kitchen’s food.
“It’s very important that they see we’ll actually come out and do it ourselves,” the commissioner told WCVB. “It’s not like I’m putting out a report that says it’s OK. I came out here and ate.”
While the exact cause of the E. coli blowup is still being investigated, CNR Guys’ isn’t taking any chances moving forward. The company hired an external food safety consultant to watch over its kitchens, and has tightened food safety policies and training procedures. The team also plan to launch an external auditing process so inspectors can conduct surprise visits to all the restaurant’s locations.
It’s been quite the saga, but your favorite Middle Eastern-inspired fare is back on the burners.
85 Bedford St., Boston, and other locations, cnrguys.com.