Chipotle has stopped serving pork at hundreds of restaurants.
The Mexican fast-casual chain pulled carnitas from menus after discovering that one of its meat suppliers was violating its animal-treatment standards.
The supplier, which Chipotle has not named, was raising pigs without access to the outdoors or to deeply bedded barns that make the animals more comfortable, Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold told Business Insider.
"Conventionally raised pigs generally do not have access to the outdoors, spend their lives in densely crowded buildings, live on hard slatted floors with no bedding and no ability to root, and are given antibiotics to keep them from getting sick," Arnold said. "We would rather not serve pork at all, than serve pork from animals that are raised in this way."
The violations were discovered during a routine audit.
The shortage will affect one-third of the chain's more than 1,700 restaurants. But carnitas only account for 6% to 7% of entrée orders, according to the AP. Chicken is the most popular protein.
Chipotle shares initially crashed early Wednesday, then rebounded. The stock was down less than 1% in mid-morning trading.
Arnold said the company is exploring options to plug the shortage, including finding new suppliers and using additional cuts of pork.
"Replacing the supply we have lost in these ways will take some time, but it is important to us to maintain our high standards for pork and we will continue to see some shortage while we work to increase the available supply," Arnold said.NOW WATCH: This Video Of The Largest Breakage Of Ice From A Glacier Ever Filmed Is Absolutely Frightening
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