(CBS) — Folks trying to get lunch at Chipotle saw on a sign on the door saying they would be right back. Consider the unusual move part public relations part food safety.

CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole shows us what Chipotle employees did around noon today instead of making burritos.

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For Chipotle, top of mind weren’t only the regulars turned away at the door for four hours today, but also those who stopped coming altogether.

“I stopped eating them because of all the cases I heard about the poisonings and stuff and I was like I don’t want to be a case,” said Shacora Cassell.

Chipotle has seen customers, sales and profits drop after outbreaks of food borne illnesses like E.coli sickened hundreds from Seattle to Boston last year.

The chain closed all 2,000 stores nationwide and streamed choice moments on social media of company-wide meetings with its 50,000 employees, and tweeted the highlights as well, educating employees on food safety and trying to convince customers they should return.

Worker Chiquita Dorsey attended a Chicago session. She says the meeting talked about, “food safety how and how we can improve and how we can get our customers’ trust back.”

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“This particular restaurant did not understand the basic principles of food safety,” said food safety expert Dr. Kantha Shelke.

Food experts say the move couldn’t come soon enough for the burrito chain that revolutionized the fast food industry with its promises of quality locally sourced products.

“You can have a mistake once or twice but to have it repeatedly means there’s a systemic error,” said Dr. Shelke.

Social media analysts know moments like this can’t be avoided now, attendees at the meetings streaming and sharing content on their own devises, so Chipotle encouraged workers to do just that as the company works to turn things around.

“What they did was they made their meeting transparent,” said Tracy Samantha Schmidt of Socially Authentic.

Chipotle reviewed how it now tests ingredients on farms and in its kitchens to avoid contamination and announced a $10 million effort to help small farms meet new standards.

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To make up for the closing, Chipotle is offering coupons for free burritos.