package of meat being lifted out of water (l) chipotle worker breaking up meat in a tray (m) tray of barbacoa (r)

@mimireya_/Tiktok Remix by Max Fleishman

‘Y’all eating glorified Taco Bell’: Chipotle worker shows how barbacoa is prepared in viral video, sparking debate

'No wonder it doesn't taste authentic.'


Brooke Sjoberg

Internet Culture

Posted on Feb 2, 2022   Updated on Feb 7, 2022, 1:23 pm CST

A TikTok revealing how Chipotle’s barbacoa is prepared has garnered 3.1 million views on the platform, with many expressing disappointment over the process.

The poster, Mireya (@mimireya), made it clear to her viewers that the process still yields fresh food, and the prepackaging of the barbacoa does not mean it’s not high quality.

In the video, Mireya grabs a prepackaged bag of barbacoa from hot water and cuts it open, pouring the contents into the silver bin customers are accustomed to. She then mashes it up inside the bin using tongs.

Mireya is an apparent Chipotle worker and often posts Chipotle-related content to her account. Some items appear to be prepared in a similar way.

“The food is fresh!” she emphasized in the comments section. “That’s just how we make it. Some stores do it different if they don’t have a retherm they use the stovetop. It’s not frozen. Just because it comes in a bag doesn’t mean it’s not fresh, everything at stores are packaged and sold you still eat every day.”

Those who were unsatisfied with how the meat option gets prepared disagreed with the TikToker’s statement that the food is fresh.

“That broke my heart,” one commenter wrote. “No wonder it doesn’t taste authentic.”

“Y’all eating glorified Taco Bell,” another claimed.

Another urged viewers to go to their local grocery store to get “freshly cooked” barbacoa for the “same price.”

On the other hand, some viewers agreed with the poster, pointing out that critics had apparently not heard of sous vide, a cooking method in which meat is packaged in a vacuum-sealed bag and then cooking it to a specific temperature in boiling water. The food prepared is still fresh, but it is easier to prepare in large batches and transport this way.

“People don’t understand that this is fine,” one said. “You make the food fresh then you vacuum seal and freeze then put in boiling water to heat up lol.”

“Y’all freaking out over sous vide,” another wrote.

The Daily Dot reached out to Mireya through a comment on the video and a TikTok direct message as well as to Chipotle directly regarding its food preparation practices.

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*First Published: Feb 2, 2022, 8:34 am CST