Health Opinion

The Rise In Food Safety Recalls Actually Means Our Food Is Getting Safer

2018 has definitely been a whirlwind year in the world of food safety news, as it appears that new food poisoning outbreaks have been making headlines almost every other week. It’s caused some concern that perhaps outbreaks are increasing, which could mean that our food supply is less safe.

That’s likely not the case, though, as the actual amount of outbreaks doesn’t seem to be changing. The FDA is just getting a lot better at catching them.

Since President Barack Obama signed the Food Safety Modernization Act in 2011, the FDA has mobilized into more of a proactive body that’s been trying to snuff out food poisonings as early as they can. That has led to an increase in technology at the disposal of the food agency, and they’ve been using it to better identify potential nationwide outbreaks.

This technology, better known as whole genome sequencing (WGS), lets FDA and CDC officials identify outbreaks as they are starting to happen on a national scale. WGS keeps tabs on the DNA of specific species and subspecies of bacteria. As people get sick, samples are collected to identify these pathogens, which are then uploaded to the WGS database. Monitors can then pinpoint these microbes and track them across the entire nation. Thus, if two people in different parts of the country get sick from the same food and bacteria, the FDA and CDC can see that and determine that an outbreak is happening.

A few years ago, this would’ve been impossible to do, which is why so many illnesses likely flew under the radar. It’s estimated that 48 million illnesses attributed to food poisoning occur every year, but only a small fraction are reported. In 2016, for example, all of the reported food outbreaks together resulted in 14,259 illnesses, a minuscule number compared to the actual estimate.

Through new technology, though, the FDA can not only better respond to food poisoning situations, but also track down what food is responsible, who made it, and where it is currently being sold. Thus, recalls can be issued a lot faster to prevent more consumers from eating something that was contaminated and getting sick.

The FDA also has some other technology that helps it keep track of potential recalls prior to their outbreak. One of these systems is the Reportable Food Registry, a report filing software companies fill out the instant they believe contaminated food could have made it out to consumers. Food production facilities have 24 hours to fill a report out on that site from when that moment occurs. The FDA then reviews these reports and requests suppliers and recipients to be notified as needed. This creates a chain of reports that helps coordinate if a recall becomes necessary.

By using this software, the recall process is streamlined to happen a lot faster. It also acts as a cautionary system to have all potential scenarios covered. Not every report in the RFR will translate to a recall, but for the FDA and CDC, it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to food safety.

There are also third-party programs in place that the FDA keeps tabs on that help them identify potential food poisoning scenarios as well. The most well-known amongst these is, where consumers can report when they got sick and where they ate from that could have caused it. In the past, the site has been used to monitor several major food poisoning events at chains like Chipotle, where the FDA did eventually step in and close restaurants so they could investigate the potential outbreaks.

For the FDA, sites like these provide a huge benefit, since more customers reporting means that they can capture more of the millions of food poisonings that go unnoticed every year. It helps them catch food safety violations from restaurants at a better rate as well, ensuring that those are just as safe as the food that comes out of production facilities.

All of these new technologies have led to an overall safer food supply, as the FDA can catch nationwide outbreaks better, track pathogens across the country, and have information on potential recalls before they even begin.

This proactive approach to food safety does mean that we see more recalls in the news, but that only means that the government is getting better at catching them and preventing us from eating that food.

For us, this means that we can trust in a safer food supply from both grocery stores and restaurants. Of course, it doesn’t mean that we’re eliminating bacteria from the food, but when those contaminations do happen, we’re much less likely to consume them now thanks to the technology the FDA and CDC are leveraging.

So the next time you see a recall make headlines, know that it’s the result of the FDA and CDC doing their jobs better and decreasing your chances of getting food poisoning.

Fast Food Health Opinion Restaurants

Why We Should Hope Chipotle Succeeds Despite All Their Food Safety Issues

It’s hard for me to hate on Chipotle too much, to be perfectly honest. I have major respect for what the company has been trying to do in the world of fast food, as their mantra of fresh ingredients, built-to-order, and healthier options is something that the entire industry should move to. If they could just move past their food safety scandals, they would be the gold standard of what all of fast food should be.

No fast food chain has been beleaguered with food poisoning issues as much as Chipotle in recent years. They’ve gotten hundreds of people sick across multiple foodborne illness outbreaks. When they tried to correct the issue with retraining, the food safety mishaps continued.

Now, they’ve recently experienced their worst food poisoning fiasco of all time, almost right after they had brought in a new CEO and were looking to turn things around. It goes without saying, but Chipotle just can’t seem to catch a break with all of the scandal that has been linked to them.

A post shared by Chipotle (@chipotle) on

Still, Chipotle deserves more credit than the general public has been giving them. Yes, they  can’t keep a clean streak for more than a few months, but it’s because what they’re doing has been pushing the envelope in the fast food industry for nearly a decade.

Achieving the scale they have makes it a challenge to control food safety with even just processed ingredients on their own. Now imagine taking that same model and implementing it into a vast lineup of fresh ingredients and a restaurant chain where everything is made in-house. This includes cutting the vegetables, marinating the meats, shredding cheese, and making fresh batches of guac daily.

All of those fresh ingredients mean that a significant amount of prep is required, which opens up the chain to more food poisoning possibilities. If someone isn’t properly trained or deviates from a food safety plan, it opens up the gateway for people to get sick.

It’s impossible to be 100% perfect with food safety, even with Chipotle’s strict food handling procedures and quarterly retrainings (a new requirement for employees). Food contamination can start on the field, long before Chipotle has a chance to get its hands on it. Despite all of the technology the food industry has, it’s not possible to catch every pathogen before it gets to the consumer. This is especially true for fresh produce, where science has yet to figure out how to effectively kill bacteria without drastically altering food quality.

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And though it would seem outlandish to even surmise, some conspiracy theorists believe that Chipotle’s food safety issues could also potentially not be the company’s fault. These same individuals believe there may be a hidden force attempting to sabotage Chipotle. Theories of corporate influence have been floating around since 2015, suggesting that shareholders may have something to do with the poisonings so that they can profit via short stocks.

Some customers also believed that one outbreak could have been the work of Monsanto after Chipotle announced they would stop using GMOs. That particular scenario involved a “very rare” strain of E. Coli, according to the FDA, which led people to believe that Monsanto could have paid someone to target Chipotle in retaliation. To date, it’s never been proven if that was or wasn’t the case.

If these conspiracy theories are in fact true, it would mean that somebody had to have intentionally poisoned the food at multiple locations, which isn’t an out-of-the-question scenario. Folks have spiked food with toxins or bacteria in the past, including at grocery stores and in the salad bars of restaurants.

A post shared by Chipotle (@chipotle) on

I’m not suggesting that Chipotle is free of any fault when it comes to their food poisoning issues. Rather, they should still be held responsible because these illnesses still happened to their customers under their watch. Thus it’s imperative they still ramp up to stringent measures with their food handling programs and continually hold themselves accountable for what’s been going on.

Chipotle’s concerted and continued efforts to handle its food safety problems while persisting to be a cutting-edge model of what fast food should be still serves as an example to others in the industry. Their take on fresh ingredients, handmade products, and affordable pricing at that level of quality is commendable, and something we should be supporting despite the food poisonings.

No fast food chain has ever been willing to take on the same freshness and quality model Chipotle started out with and scale it to the size of a mega-corporation. The burrito giant took on the guinea pig role in testing out what we all want fast food to really be: fresh, fast, affordable, and tasty. Outside of the lingering safety issues (and their forgettable first run of queso), Chipotle has managed to do all of that.

Minus the food-borne illnesses, Chipotle is what the rest of fast food should be. As they work out the kinks in their food handling programs, we should continue to support them and allow them to become the gold standard the rest of the industry aspires to be. Only then can we possibly have a future of food that’s wholesome, nutritious, and delicious, even at its most basic level.

Health Packaged Food Sweets

Could Ice Cream Be the Cause of Your Food Poisoning?

Photo: Shutterstock / Elena Veselova

You weren’t feeling so great after last Sunday’s barbecue? When you think about the usual food poisoning causes at cookouts, there’s a surprising one you might be missing. It’s ice cream. When that cold and creamy dessert melts, it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria, including dangerous Listeria. (That’s a serious problem for anyone with a compromised immune system or pregnant women.)

Here’s what you need to know to stay safe!

How Ice Cream Causes Food Poisoning

Ice cream can actually go bad, and it happens in one of two ways:

  • When it’s manufactured: If any of the ingredients are tainted with food poisoning-causing bacteria
  • When it melts: If you scoop up the ice cream after it’s melted, and particularly after it’s melted and refrozen, you risk contamination

Where to Find Bacteria in Ice Cream

Have a quick look at any ice cream recipe, and you’ll see that it’s a simple mixture of milk or cream, sugar and flavoring. Some ice cream (or frozen custard) contains eggs as well. The ingredients can harbor microorganisms (like mold or bacteria) that might get you sick to your stomach.


It’s unusual for milk or cream to harbor illness-causing microorganisms because generally, the milk and cream used in making ice cream is pasteurized. Bacteria like Salmonella, E. coli and Listeria are all destroyed through pasteurization.


When ice cream calls for eggs, they’re inevitably raw, and raw eggs can harbor Salmonella. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), notes that ice cream containing eggs—particularly the homemade kind—is responsible for hundreds of Salmonella outbreaks each year. The reason homemade ice cream is more often the culprit is that ice cream manufacturers tend to use pasteurized egg products, which help them avoid introducing Salmonella. The FDA actually recommends using pasteurized eggs—which are increasingly easier to find in the grocery store—in your home-churned ice cream.


Sugar rarely harbors bacteria, but it can harbor mold. Other flavorings and additives (such as gelatin) can harbor bacteria if not handled properly, which may explain this recent ice cream bar recall.

When Contamination Happens at Home

When it’s allowed to melt, ice cream can quickly become an incubator for bacteria. That’s why the FDA’s ice cream guidelines require distributors to keep frozen desserts at under 41° F. Your ice cream is most likely to melt at home—or more likely in your backyard! That melty ice cream is where any bacteria that’s introduced by you, your guests’ fingers, your serving utensils, etc. will begin growing. Since the sugars in ice cream feed bacteria, it’s a serious set-up for food poisoning.

Even after you refreeze your melted ice cream, it won’t be safe from certain bacteria that’s been allowed to grow. For example, Listeria can not only survive, but also thrive and reproduce right in your freezer!

How to Avoid Food Poisoning

You can reduce your family’s risk of food poisoning by following these safe-serving guidelines:

  • Scoop your ice cream with a clean serving utensil, and don’t let anyone lick it.
  • No double-dipping in the ice cream container with your personal utensils.
  • Keep your ice cream frozen. If it melts, toss it.
  • Avoid ice cream made with unpasteurized eggs and/or raw milk.
  • When making your own ice cream, use pasteurized eggs and milk, and avoid cross-contamination.

Here are 14 more foods that most people don’t know can cause food poisoning.

Related Links:

Article by Lauren Cahn from Taste of Home. View the original article here.

Grocery Health Opinion Science

These Everyday Foods Have Poisons In Them, And We’re Still Fine

As a food scientist, one of the things that grinds my gears is how people approach food toxins. Everybody freaks out over acrylamide in coffee and french fries, phthalates in boxed mac and cheese or other “dangerous compounds lurking in our foods.”

However, we all sleep on the ones that are inside what we eat by nature.

Many of the everyday foods we eat, like eggs, celery, and apples, have developed their own biological defense systems. In most cases, that involves some natural poison that is affecting us in some way, whether we realize it or not.

In some instances, those toxins are at higher levels than any of the carcinogens that we all tend to discuss. Despite our regular consumption, though, we carry on in life, mostly unaffected.

For those wondering how this is possible, you gotta turn to Paracelsus — The “Father of Toxicology.”

“All things are poisons, for there is nothing without poisonous qualities,” he says. “It is only the dose which makes a thing poison.”

It’s still important to know what’s potentially toxic inside your everyday foods. Whether it be those or acrylamide, though, just remember that how much you eat matters more than exactly what you eat.


everyday foods

I know what you’re thinking. “Celery is one of the few foods out there that requires more calories to eat than you get out of it, it has to be healthy!” I mean, yes, it still is, it’s just that too much of it means you’ll be ingesting a lot of a toxin called psoralens. You’ll be able to tell when that happens because of a sunburn-like skin condition you’ll develop. Avoiding UV light for a few hours (and laying off the celery overconsumption), though, should help.


Eggs are great sources of protein and other health-beneficial compounds, but they can be restrictive in one area. A particular protein inside called avidin can bind to Vitamin B7 (aka biotin) and prevent your body from getting a significant amount of that nutrient. This can be reduced by cooking your egg whites, though, so avoiding the Rocky Balboa diet is a good way to keep this to a minimum.


Raw soybeans have a number of antinutrients inside of them, one of the key ones being phytic acid. It can limit the amount of zinc, vitamin D, and iron your body can get from food. This can be limited, though, by a number of methods, including heating and soaking the soybeans. So eating something like tofu over straight soybeans means you lose less nutrients.

It should be noted, however, that phytic acid is also a key source of phosphorous that our body needs. Goes to show that it really is all about balance and dosage, like Paracelsus said.


There was a woman who ate roughly 4 pounds of licorice a week that got a heart attack. Turns out an active compound inside called glycyrrhizic acid was causing the loss of essential potassium from her body that induced the cardiovascular episode. As much as 100 grams of licorice a day can lead to this, according to follow-up research, but the symptoms abate as you eat less of it.

Sea Bass

Sea bass is one of several fish that we eat that can lead to something called ciguatera fish poisoning (barramundi being another example). It’s caused by the build up of a toxin produced by microalgae that the fish (or their prey) eat. It’s harmless to fish, but it can’t be destroyed by cooking and can cause nausea and vomiting in humans. A unique symptom is a sort of “heat reversal” sensation, where hot things feel cold and vice versa. All of these symptoms are treatable, but can last for a while if left alone. Research is still scant on this toxin, but eating small pieces of several different fish has been suggested as a solution.


Apples actually have a couple of different potential toxins to worry about. The seeds are high in amygdallin, a precursor to a neurotoxin called hydrogen cyanide. That compound can be fatal, so it’s best to avoid eating the seeds.

Mold growth on apples from a couple of different species can result in the formation of patulin, a potential carcinogen. It’s pretty rare to get, though, especially with the strict limits set on it by the FDA for apple and apple products (ie. juice and cider).

Kidney Beans

If you’re cooking with canned kidney beans, there’s virtually no problem here, since the poisoning issue with these comes from when they’re undercooked. Proper heating destroys lectins, a group of compounds that keep your intestines from absorbing nutrients properly. Those that prefer to cook from a dry bean should take note and ensure their beans are tender to keep lectins from having any effect.


Strawberries, along with kale, cabbage, and other produce, contain a series of goitrogens that inhibit your intake of iodine. Iodine deficiencies may lead to the formation of goiters (hence, the name). But with the amount of iodized salt in the United States today, this has barely ever surfaced as an issue.


Like apple seeds, almonds are also a source of amygdalin, which can lead to the formation of hydrogen cyanide. The almonds you find in stores, though, should be okay, since there is too little amygdalin inside of them to have any effect. You do want to watch out for wild bitter almonds, which have significantly higher amounts of the toxin inside.


Tuna is naturally high in histamine, and this can result in something known as scombroid fish poisoning. Symptoms tend to mimic that of an allergic reaction, so the two are often confused. This toxicity most often occurs with fish that is spoiled or not refrigerated properly, which allows the histamines to build up.

While many of the above toxins in our everyday foods may sound scary, actually getting the symptoms tends to be rare. You either need to eat a lot over time, a lot at once, or not be storing your food properly. Again, as Paracelsus said, the toxicity is all about the dose. That goes for acrylamide and all the other commonly discussed substances as well.

Celebrity Grub Hit-Or-Miss News

Actor Jeremy Jordan Hospitalized After Eating Chipotle, Says ‘I Almost Died’

Chipotle’s latest food poisoning scandal has finally hit Hollywood as actor Jeremy Jordan stated he was recently hospitalized after eating at the much-maligned eatery.

According to People Magazine, the “Supergirl” star posted Instagram videos of himself at the hospital November 9, saying:

“I know I’ve advocated for them in the past, but they’re terrible. I, as you can see, am in the hospital and I have fluids in my arm because the food did not agree with me, and I almost died.”

Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold responded to Jordan’s claims, telling CNBC:

“We were sorry to hear Jeremy was sick and were able to get in touch with him directly regarding where and when he ate. There have been no other reported claims of illness at the restaurant where he dined. We take all claims seriously, but we can’t confirm any link to Chipotle given the details he shared with us.”

Even with Chipotle saying that there is no conclusive evidence that Chipotle was the cause of his sickness, the Mexican-ish restaurant’s stock price dropped by a whole 2.7 percent, Monday.

Chipotle’s reputation has taken a hit over the years, as several stores have been hit with Norovirus cases, and it seems that every time they try to dust themselves off, a new case surfaces.

We’ll see how they try to come back from this PR nightmare, but it might be a little tougher this time around with a notable celebrity attached to the story.

IG Screenshot via People

Health Packaged Food Products Science

9 Tragic Food Outbreaks That Still Horrify Us Today

It seems that nowadays, we can’t go a full week without hearing news about some food product getting recalled due to some contamination or adulteration. Over the past half century, food poisoning has gained a lot of attention, especially here in the United States, as food safety disasters, mainly caused by fecal contamination, occasionally turn into horrific, tragic tales.

Food safety is of the utmost importance, so it’s crucial for the food industry to learn from the mistakes companies within it have made that have not just cost dollars, but also lives. Here are some of the most tragic food poisoning outbreaks that have occurred over the past half century. May we hope to never be a part of or witness one as bad as these again.

Hepatitis A In Green Onions (2003)

A Pennsylvania location of a now-extinct chain restaurant called Chi-Chi’s unknowingly sickened over 500 customers due to some green onions they received from Mexico that were contaminated with Hepatitis A. The green onions were added into salsa and chili con queso that gave people symptoms ranging in severity from vomiting to jaundice, a liver condition that causes skin and eyes to turn slightly yellow. Three people unfortunately died from the outbreak, likely due to the fatal acute liver failure that Hepatitis A can cause. To date, this is the largest outbreak of Hepatitis A in the United States.

Listeria-Contaminated Cantaloupes (2011)

Rocky Mountain Cantaloupe that was distributed across at least 28 different states was found to be adulterated with Listeria after 147 were infected in late 2011. Of those 147, 33 passed away, including at least one confirmed miscarriage of a baby, as a result of listeriosis (the disease caused by Listeria). After investigations by the CDC and FDA, owners of the farm responsible, Jensen Family Farm, pleaded guilty to misdemeanors of distributing tainted food. The farm was also forced into bankruptcy as a result of the outbreak, which is one of the deadliest recorded in United States history.

Mexican Cucumbers Tainted With Salmonella (2015)

In 2015, imported Mexican cucumbers that carried a strain of Salmonella on them were sold across 38 different states. The count of those infected by the cucumbers rose to as many as 767, with 157 of those being hospitalized and four confirmed deaths resulting from the outbreak. All of the imported cucumbers, which were brought into the US by Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce, ended up being recalled, but the damage was already wrought upon those who were unfortunate enough to consume them.

Hot Dogs Infected With Listeria (1998-1999)

Multiple hot dog brands, including Ball Park and Sara Lee Deli Meat, were responsible for an outbreak of Listeria that infected 108, killed 14 people, and resulted in four miscarriages. All of the hot dogs responsible were traced back to the Bil Mar Foods plant owned by Sara Lee, who issued a recall that halted the outbreak almost immediately. Sara Lee ended up paying $4.4 million to settle civil and criminal charges.

Jack In The Box’s Burger E. Coli Scare (1993)

Many people regard this as the food safety outbreak that put E. Coli on the map as a pathogen to watch out for. Considering it happened at a major fast food chain like Jack In The Box, infected over 500, and killed four people, it’s not hard to see why. The causative agent here was a “Monster burger” that tended to be served undercooked, making it a great environment for E. Coli O157:H7 to grow in. This strain of E. Coli can cause something called Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS), leading to kidney failure in some who become infected. Since then, the Monster burger has been taken off of the menu, but the legacy of food poisoning in fast food and E. Coli O157:H7 both live on.

Peanut Corporation of America’s Salmonella Peanut Butter (2009)

This outbreak absolutely sucks because it could have been avoided. The Peanut Corporation of America knowingly shipped out Salmonella-contaminated peanut butter across the entire country, infecting over 700 people in 46 states. Nine of those people allegedly died as a result of their infections, which were eventually traced back to the Peanut Corporation and the obstruction of justice was discovered by inspectors. The owner of the company eventually got 28 years in prison for the company’s actions, which is to date the harshest punishment levied on someone for a food-borne illness case in U.S. history.

Baby Spinach From Dole Found To Contain E. Coli (2006)

Over 200 people across 26 states got ill after eating this tainted spinach, which was found to be contaminated with E. Coli O157:H7. Half were hospitalized, 31 developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, and three eventually passed away due to kidney failure. The recall was so bad that the FDA issued daily warnings for a week telling people to not eat any spinach, something they had never had to do before. While the spinach was eventually traced back to Dole, the shock of this recall reverberated across the entire country. Leafy greens purchases would take a decade to recover following this spinach outbreak.

Listeria in Raw Milk Cheese (1985)

Los Angeles County was rocked by this outbreak, which lasted for eight months, led to 28 deaths and 20 miscarriages, and infected over 140 people in total. The causative agent was discovered to be soft cheese produced by Jalisco, who was found to be using unpasteurized milk to create their cheeses. Since then, the FDA and USDA regularly issue advisories about the potential dangers of consuming unpasteurized milk that could contain Listeria amongst other food-borne pathogens. Raw milk recalls and deaths still happen every now and then unfortunately, but none matches the magnitude of what happened in SoCal in 1985.

China’s Infamous Melamine Milk Scandal (2008)

This is arguably the most tragic of any food illness outbreak to have occurred ever. In 2008, thousands of infants in China who drank Sanlu baby formula were hospitalized with kidney problems. Six of those children, unfortunately, passed away before investigations uncovered that the baby formula had been tainted with melamine. This chemical has often been used to trick analyzers testing for protein concentrations to make formulas seem more nutritious than they were.

A horrible side effect of melamine, however, was that it would react with another compound in the formula called cyanuric acid to form crystals in the infants’ kidneys that result in severe damage, and in some cases, kidney failure. In total, nearly 300,000 children were sickened by the melamine-tainted formula, resulting in legal punishment of several Sanlu company leaders and the execution of two people who intentionally laced melamine into the milk.

Hopefully, nothing on the scale of Sanlu, or any of the other outbreaks, happens again. Food safety is still, as always, a major concern of the food industry, and one can only hope that nobody misses anything that turns deadly.

Health News

Sushi Lovers Beware, There’s A Dangerous Parasite Attaching Itself To Stomachs

Eating raw or undercooked food is like playing Russian roulette with your stomach, but we’ve kind of seen sushi as the exception. We can no longer take raw sushi for granted, though, as there has been an uptick in sushi eaters getting sick from a disease called Anisakiasis.

Anisakiasis, according to the CDC, “… is a parasitic disease caused by nematodes (worms) that attach to the wall of the esophagus, stomach, or intestine.”

Basically, there’s a chain reaction where mammals like whales take dumps in the ocean, and larvae get infected. The larvae are eaten by crustaceans, then the crustaceans are eaten by fish and squid that are eventually used in sushi and  are ultimately eaten by us.

When the fish in sushi is not cooked all the way, we ingest those parasites and they quickly take over our stomachs, irritating them, and leading to fevers and vomiting.

One example of this came from a report in the British Medical Journal about a 32-year-old man who had moderate abdominal pain, along with a fever and vomiting after eating sushi. An upper gastrointestinal endoscopy was performed on him, and they found a parasite attached to a swollen area in his stomach.

“Anisakis can infect salmon, herring, cod, mackerel, squids, halibut and red snapper,” Dr. Joana Carmo told CNN. “… Mainly in Japan because of the frequent ingestion of raw fish.”

While a bulk of the anisakiasis cases have come from Japan and Spain, there have been rising cases coming from the U.S. and South America, according to the CDC.

If left untreated, the gastric problems in your stomach can last for several months, leading to a surgery to remove the parasite.

Doing away with raw sushi sounds a little hard, but if you freeze the fish to -4 degrees Fahrenheit for 72 hours, it will kill the parasite. Also, if the sushi chef is properly trained, they can spot the anisakiasis.

So it all comes down either trusting your sushi chef or getting fully cooked sushi. May the odds be ever in your favor.

Health News Restaurants

Trump’s Mar-A-Lago Hit With Serious Health Violations, But Stays Open

Well, that’s one fancy resort estate that I’d never want to eat at.

Donald Trump’s well-known, high-priced Mar-A-Lago estate in Florida was recently cited for a shocking ten health violations in their kitchen during a health inspection, according to CNBC.

Three of the violations were “high priority” faults that could actually contribute to the spread of foodborne illnesses by the restaurant, meaning that guests at the estate (and our current president) could get sick from eating at the Mar-A-Lago. These violations included raw and undercooked fish that hadn’t undergone proper parasite destruction and meats stored at temperatures allowing for microbial growth.

The lower priority violations were still disturbing, since they included a lack of hot water to sanitize employee’s hands, poorly maintained coolers to store the food in, and even a lack of the well-known “Employees Must Wash Hands” sign in a bathroom that they use.

While several of the violations were corrected on site, it’s disturbing to note that these dangerous food handling practices were being carried out at a site where Donald Trump has played host to several dignitaries during his first few months of presidency, most notably Xi Jinping, the president of China.

The carelessness shown by Trump’s Mar-A-Lago in properly maintaining their facilities and ensuring proper food handling is alarming for the high-end resort. There’s really no telling how long these violations were going on for, but anyone who dined at the resort prior to that inspection could have gotten sick.

That includes President Trump, President Xi, and any other notable persons staying at the Mar-A-Lago. Talk about a presidential welcome.

Here’s to hoping the changes they had to make during the inspection stay permanent or that President Trump finds somewhere else more sanitary to host distinguished guests.

The White House might be a good choice for that.