Chipotle Mexican Grill is getting puffy again.
The burrito chain declared Tuesday that it serves the most natural food of all its competitors, having eliminated preservatives from its tortillas and other “unnecessary additives” from its tacos and chips.
Chipotle began its purge two years ago and says all of its restaurants now are serving “clean” food.
In making the claim, chief executive and founder, Steve Ells, couldn’t resist swiping at McDonald’s in particular and all big national chains.
“We never resorted to using added colors or flavors like many other fast food companies,” Ells said in a statement.
Not everyone praised Chipotle for coming clean.
“This is just another marketing ploy to distract consumers,” said Richard Berman, executive director of the Center for Consumer Freedom, which mocked the chain in 2015 with an aggressive ad campaign called “Chubby Chipotle.”
“The bottom line is preservatives in a burrito won’t kill you,” Berman said, “but E. coli might” — a not-so-subtle reference to Chipotle’s food crisis last year and in 2015.