Chipotle Adds British Pork Supplier to Ease Carnitas Shortage

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. has added a British pork supplier, helping ease a monthslong shortage of the meat used in its popular carnitas burrito and taco filling.

The Mexican-food chain is adding carnitas back to the menus at its more than 100 locations in Florida after signing a deal to buy pork from Karro Food, based in Malton, England. Chipotle had cut carnitas, made of shredded pork shoulder, from about a third of its 1,800 U.S. restaurants in January after suspending a supplier for not meeting its pig-housing standards.

“The new pork is just getting into restaurants in Florida, and we’ll continue to add new markets in the coming months as our supply increases,” Chris Arnold, a spokesman for the Denver-based company, said in an e-mail. “We expect to have carnitas back in all of our restaurants before the end of the year.”

After the suspension, Chipotle rotated carnitas on and off the menu in various markets for about six weeks at a time. The company said in April that it was ending the practice because it was confusing customers.

Chipotle said on its website that it has struggled to find pork raised to its standards in the U.S. The restaurant chain was “excited” about the quality of meat that Karro raised but noted that the company uses antibiotics “when necessary to keep an animal healthy.”

“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,” Chipotle said.