An intriguing conspiracy theory centered around the restaurant chain Chipotle has been gaining attention following a norovirus outbreak which left over 100 of their patrons sick last week.
Initially proposed a few years ago when the beleaguered restaurant was rocked by a widespread E. Coli outbreak, the hypothesis suggests that the chain's woes are not accidental and, in fact, are being orchestrated by nefarious forces.
According to the conspiracy theory, the motivations behind sabotaging Chipotle are twofold with the first reason being monetary gain via the short-selling of stock.
One restaurant consulted noted that groups that could have foreseen the chain's newfound problems would have netted a whopping $55 million dollars when the company's stock dramatically dropped following the outbreak.
Additionally, it has been argued that the outbreaks attributed to Chipotle seem atypical given the size of the chain, the timing of the incidents, and the number of people who got sick.
A second possible source cited by conspiracy theorists is somewhat more elaborate, but equally compelling: the biotech industry.
The reasoning behind this idea is that Chipotle has been a prominent critic of GMO foods and therefore could have become targeted by way of a series of outbreaks that would cripple the company.
Although the conspiracy theories may sound outlandish to some, the inability to determine the source of the 2015 E. coli outbreak strengthens suspicions that something is amiss about the story.
For their part, Chipotle has dismissed the claims and says they've seen no evidence that they are being targeted by corporate ne'er-do-wells wishing to take down the chain.
As with a somewhat similar conspiracy theory surrounding Starbucks cups, we may never know the true story of what has been plaguing Chipotle, but it might just give one pause next time they stop by their local restaurant for dinner.
Source: Business Insider