Food Safety Report

Food safety stories are always in headlines. Here’s information on one with a confirmed outbreak, one with an outbreak but kept anonymous, another banned from serving raw meat, and a restaurant in Wisconsin closed for unsanitary conditions.

Food Safety Report |

Margarita’s Linked to 200 Norovirus Cases

A Michigan restaurant, Margarita’s, is suspected in a norovirus outbreak. So far, 200 people who ate at the restaurant have become ill. The Ottowa County Health Department closed the restaurant after confirming the norovirus cases.

Health Department Not Disclosing Source of E. coli Outbreak

Last April, a restaurant in Orange County, California, was linked to an E. coli outbreak from romaine lettuce. The restaurant cooperated fully with the health department, including voluntarily closing. Now 5 months later, the health department is under fire for keeping the location of the outbreak a secret. A spokesman for the OC Health Care Agency claims the reason for keeping the location anonymous is because the restaurant voluntarily closed and it no longer poses a threat to the public now.

Lebanese Restaurants Banned from Serving Raw Meat

Lebanese restaurants in Windsor, Ontario, are no longer allowed to serve kibbeh, a popular ground meat dish, by order of health inspectors. These restaurants have been serving this dish for years, but a report of contaminated kibbeh last year has health inspectors worried. The health department banned the meat because there is no treatment to reduce pathogens such as salmonella or E. coli before it is served to customers. The restaurants are claiming financial losses from the ban on the popular dish.

China Buffet Closed for Unsanitary Conditions

China Buffet in Appleton, Wisconsin, was closed for numerous critical violations. It was the first time in more than a decade that city health inspectors had taken this action. A contractor who had been working in the building came across hundreds of cockroaches and called the health department. When health inspectors showed up, they found raw meats at room temperature, cooked items held at dangerous temperatures, cockroach infestation and excessive grease build-up on cooking equipment. The manager claims safety is a priority and they have changed their cleaning procedures to address the problems found.

Restaurants Should Protect Their Customers by Having Good Food Safety Practices

All restaurants should be aware that if they can’t keep their food safety practices at a high level, they can be subject to a closure from the health department or an outbreak of sick customers. Either way, this results in huge financial losses. Protect your brand and your customers by incorporating strict food safety policies.

Are you a restaurant manager looking for ways to educate yourself and your staff on food safety? Follow Respo on Twitter: @ResproFSP for excellent tips and advice!

Originally published 8.6.12

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