Three Chipotle customers filed a class action lawsuit last week alleging the Mexican fast-food chain does not provide an accurate nutritional count for its chorizo burrito. The customers said they felt "excessively full" after eating the lunch item, and said it couldn't have been just 300 calories.
The three plaintiffs — David Desmond, Edward Gurevich and Young Hoon Kim — filed a class action lawsuit in Los Angeles against the Mexican food giant, disputing the true calorie count of the chorizo burrito it serves in over 1,200 of its restaurants.
The real calorie count of the chorizo burrito nears a range of between 900-1,200 calories, inclusive of the tortilla, brown rice, brown beans and salsa, NBC News calculated on Chipotle's nutritional calculator.
"By providing false nutritional information for their menu items, consumers are lulled into a false belief that the items that they are eating are healthier than they really are," the lawsuit indicated. "[It] encourages repeat patronage by consumers who are concerned about the nutritional values of the food they eat."
Desmond noted in the lawsuit that he "searched the board [of the Chipotle restauraunt] for a low calorie meal" and believed that the 300-calorie note "represented a healthier product perfect for consumption."
However, upon eating it, Desmond felt "excessively full" and figured that it couldn't have been just 300 calories. Gurevich and Kim came to the same conclusion in two other Los Angeles Chipotle chains after basing their judgment on the "board's description."
But Chipotle believes it didn't provide "fraudulent information" as the lawsuit claims, since customers can calculate the calorie count freely on the website's nutritional calculator.
"As a matter of policy, we don't discuss details surrounding pending legal action. I will note, however, that a lawsuit is nothing more than allegations and is proof of nothing," Chipotle communications director Chris Arnold said in a statement. "Generally speaking, we always work hard to maintain transparency around what is in our food, including the nutritional content, which is provided on an ingredient-by-ingredient basis."
Social media chaos broke out over the lawsuit, and Twitter users were split in half over whether to be angry that they were "cheated" or to be annoyed by how "clueless" the plaintiffs were.
"It is Chipotle's responsibility to provide reasonably accurate information to its customers. I asked your employee about it when I took the photo. She had no idea the tortilla [itself] has 300 calories & said 'That's fattening!'," Twitter user, Julie posted.
But, others like Brittany Petersen, a Masters in Science Nutrition student, said those who are shocked by the inaccuracy of the calorie count should "make an appointment with a dietitian ASAP."
"You must be living under a rock if you believe that burrito is only 300 calories. Fix the menu and let's move on people," Twitter user Michael Wong posted.
Chipotle seems to be attempting to fix the controversy with some Twitter users reporting that the entire chorizo burrito board has been removed from certain stores in San Francisco and Los Angeles.