Wednesday, October 20, 2004

To borrow from a blog from an acquaintance, it's only appropriate that this particular blog is entitled...

Food for Thought

Today, I celebrated a friend's birthday (happy 28th, Karen!). As it was intended as a potluck, I was requested to bring a food dish. Being that I was coming after school, I didn't exactly have time to prepare food, so I decided to take the easy way out and grab a dish of chow mein or something. Thinking I would just phone up the restaurant, get them to prepare the dish, and I would pick it up on the way.

So, with the wonderful tool that is the Internet, I punch up the local search engine. "Ho Do" and "Surrey" were the search terms. Among the listings for local area businesses and the place in the on-line phone book, it spat this out:


I scroll down and find an entry for "Ho Do."

Perishable foods not being stored under proper temperatures. Raw meats stored above ready to eat food products. Kitchen sanitation was poor, and requires thorough cleaning of all equipment, shelves, walls and floor. Dishwasher not reaching sanitizing temperatures.

Worse yet, there is another infraction from them, dated barely a month and a half later.

Failure to obtain food from an approved source (!), failure to protect food from contamination, failure to ensure proper condition of equipment, utensils and food contact surfaces, failure to maintain premises, equipment and utensils in a sanitary condition.

While not quite as bad as some of the other entries (mentions of "rodent infestations", "cockroaches"), it draws enough concern for me to contact an acquaintance to recommend another restaurant within the area. Mind you, I've pretty much eaten at all of the Chinese restaurants in the area, but it never hurts to have a second opinion (although the fact that my sister ate there and almost cut the inside of her mouth on a STAPLE that was buried in a plate of beef noodles should've been a more obvious indicator).

I am recommended to go to Lee Yuen, another local Chinese seafood restaurant. Firing up the handy-dandy search engine, it spits out the same page. Realizing that I've already seen the page, I scroll down a little further.

Failure to ensure proper construction, condition or use of equipment, utensils and food contact surfaces. Failure to maintain premise, equipment and utensils in sanitary conditions. Sale of contaminated food.

And to think, I used to like eating there. While most restaurants get shut down for a day at most, a closer look reveals that Lee Yuen was shut down for the better part of two weeks. Will I go eat at this restaurant? Or at ANY restaurant for that matter?

Sure, most restaurants are safe to eat at. However, my mom used to work as a payroll clerk in a Chinese restaurant. From what she tells me, if one were to go into the kitchen of a Chinese restaurant, you'd never eat there again.

Eh, I needed to expand the number of dishes I can cook anyway. I'm sick of cooking nothing but stir-fried vegetables and meat.

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