Being that I can nearly see Alaska from my Hotel Room here in Canada, a loud “shout out” to Stephen Leary and the folks at Barf Blog for checking into the food safety record of Ray’s Hell Burger, a.k.a. Butcher Burger, 1713 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA – AFTER the President ate there. Ya really have to love the internet.
I posted yesterday about my concerns about the President ordering his hamburger medium-well. But, perhaps the bigger concern is what the hell was the Secret Service thinking – Or, Not. Here is the best of what is on-line at the Arlington Health Department:
Violations: A summary of the violations found during the inspection are listed below.
Code / Observation / Corrective Action
3-301.11 Corrected During Inspection Critical An employee was observed contacting ready-to-eat (RTE) food [hamburger roll and lettuce] with their bare hands.
Except when washing fruits and vegetables as specified under 3-302.15 or as specified in paragraph (D) of this section, food employees may not contact exposed, RTE food with their bare hands and shall use suitable utensils such as deli tissue, spatulas, tongs, single-use gloves, or dispensing equipment.
3-603.11 Critical The food establishment serves hamburgers [cooked-to-order] undercooked without informing consumers of the significantly increased risk consuming such food by way of a disclosure and reminder using brochures, deli case or menu advisories, label statements, table tents, placards, or other effective written means.
Except food establishments that serve a highly susceptible population or have received a variance from our department, if an animal food such as beef, eggs, fish, lamb, milk, pork, poultry, or shellfish is served or sold raw, undercooked, or without otherwise being processed to eliminate pathogens, either in ready-to-eat form or as an ingredient in another ready-to-eat food, the permit holder shall inform consumers of the significantly increased risk of consuming such foods by way of a disclosure and reminder, as specified in paragraphs (B) and (C) of this section using brochures, deli case or menu advisories, label statements, table tents, placards, or other effective written means. (B) Disclosure shall include: (1) A description of the animal-derived foods, such as "oysters on the half shell (raw oysters)," "raw-egg Caesar salad," and "hamburgers (can be cooked to order);" or (2) Identification of the animal-derived foods by asterisking them to a footnote that states that the items are served raw or undercooked, or contain (or may contain) raw or undercooked ingredients. (C) Reminder shall include asterisking the animal-derived foods requiring disclosure to a footnote that states: (1) Regarding the safety of these items, written information is available upon request; (2) Consuming raw or undercooked meats, poultry, seafood, shellfish, or eggs may increase your risk of foodborne illness; or (3) Consuming raw or undercooked meats, poultry, seafood, shellfish, or eggs may increase your risk of foodborne illness, especially if you have certain medical conditions. At issue is the role of government agencies, the regulated industry, and others in providing notice to consumers that animal-derived foods that are not subjected to adequate heat treatment pose a risk because they may contain biological agents that cause foodborne disease.
6-501.111 Insect, rodent, and/or other pest harborage conditions exist on the premises [mouse droppings were observed on the floor of the storage room].
The presence of insects, rodents, and other pests shall be controlled to minimize their presence on the premises by eliminating harborage conditions. Insects and other pests are capable of transmitting disease to man by contaminating food and food-contact surfaces. Effective measures must be taken to control their presence in food establishments.
Not quite the publicity that Ray’s Hell Burger or Butcher Burger was hoping for I imagine. Or, perhaps like when Acting CDC director Richard Besser called Biden’s bungled comments about not flying in an airplane because of the risk of H1N1 "a teachable moment," we can learn something here about safe food? Heck, I had time to change my deck before my speech this morning: