After spending several months off the Chipotle menu, Carnitas is back at most locations, including the Athens Chipotle.

Carnitas lovers rejoice — the uptown Chipotle Mexican Grill has reinstated pork into the menu.

Carnitas is a Mexican-style shredded pork option that disappeared from a third of Chipotle menus nationwide earlier in the year. The chain found out that one of its primary pork suppliers was mistreating its animals, which was in violation of Chipotle's animal welfare standards, according to a Chipotle news release.

The company promptly halted sales of carnitas until it could find a suitable supplier.

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The new supplier is Karro Food Group, based in the UK. Karro Foods raises its pigs in bedded barns and outdoors in large fields rather than confining them to small crates as many conventional suppliers do. The new supplier also abides by Chipotle's standards on how the pigs are fed, cared for, and treated medicinally, which are all much stricter than conventional practices, according to the news release.

As a result of teaming with Karro Foods, Chipotle announced Sept. 28 that the Carnitas option is back at 90 percent of its restaurants — Athens included — with the other 10 percent to follow by the end of November.

Restaurants in northern parts of Ohio, Atlanta, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina are still without carnitas, but Chipotle is working on having the option return to all restaurants across the United States, according to the news release.

The return of pork at the Athens Chipotle saw mixed reactions, as some students were unaware of the situation or of what carnitas themselves are.

Athens local Ricky Zimmerman and Alexi Hanna, a freshman studying marketing, said they didn't know what carnitas are.

After the two were informed, however, they were both glad to hear that carnitas are back for others, if not for themselves.

"That's great," Zimmerman said. "Some people like pork more than chicken."

Zach McCarthy, sophomore studying psychology, is also excited to hear that carnitas are back.

"That's always my personal favorite," McCarthy said.

When asked if he had been back for the carnitas yet since its return, McCarthy said: "I have not, but I plan on it soon."

ms153614@ohio.edu

@GS_Matt

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