Would You Eat At This Restaurant?

Residents of Ontario Canada have had a slew of bad news recently relating to food quality. The biggest story concerned the listeriosis contamination at the Maple Leaf processing plant in Toronto. According to CBC News, as of September 5, 2008 "13 deaths are directly linked to listeriosis found in meat from the Toronto plant".

The source of the contamination was found to be deep inside two slicing machines. So deep in fact that regular cleaning procedures failed to touch it. It wasn't until the plant was shut down and the machinery dismantled so that each machine component could be cleaned individually that the source of the contamination was found.

Another incident that made the front page was the e coli outbreak that was traced to a fast food restaurant located in North Bay, Ontario. The Toronto Star newspaper reported yesterday that this restaurant is scheduled to reopen today, November 12, 2008 after being shut down since October 12th. This particular outbreak is suspected to have sickened just over 250 people, with one child still listed in serious condition in hospital. Besides the number of people affected, the most disturbing aspect of this case is the fact that the source of the e coli has not been identified.

These two occurrences raise several questions; would you eat at this restaurant, or any other food establishment, that has been shut down by the health department for whatever reason, and then reopened? And the second; would you purchase product from a facility, such as the one mentioned above, even after a deep cleaning?

It's a really tough decision. On the one hand, food contamination can just as easily happen in your own kitchen as it can in a restaurant or food processing plant. The bacteria involved are microscopic and will not appear visible to the naked eye. On the other hand there is the issue of trust. By patronizing a restaurant, or buying ready to eat foods from a processing plant through our local grocer, we are placing our own health and safety and that of our family, in the hands of strangers and government regulations.

In the case of a restaurant, it's pretty black and white. Your answer may be influenced by your personal knowledge of the owners and staff of the establishment, and it may be a difficult decision. But at the end of the day, you either decide yes, you will continue to eat there, or no, you won't.

The answer as it related to the food processing plant is more difficult and full of unknowns. This particular plant processes foods under a myriad of different labels. I had no idea of the existence of some of the brands, and also had no idea that some of the brands came from this particular processor. Even careful scrutiny of the packaging did not reveal that these brands were processed and packaged at this plant. The best way to reach an answer is to educate yourself about the source of the food. Ask the people behind the deli counter. If they can't, or in some cases won't, answer your question, you may to switch brands or stop buying that particular food altogether.

We can no longer leave food safety in the hands of government and regulators. Simply put, know where what you're eating comes from. Educate yourself.

Users Reading this article are also interested in:
Top Searches on Restaurant Guide:
Restaurant Food Safety Restaurant Cleaning
About The Author, Datepad
This article was written by Shawn Wilson, a member of the customer support team at Datepad, where internet dating is always free. Datepad has a massive directory of informative dating articles along with a great list of dating site reviews on their dating blog.