Food & Drink

Tasty Shawarma in *Scarborough* cross contamination

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  • Feb 14th, 2020 3:18 pm
[OP]
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Aug 9, 2013
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Scarborough

Tasty Shawarma in *Scarborough* cross contamination

Their food is good, not great. Prices are attractive along with their 2am closing time but the thing I don't understand is why do they spoon their garlic sauce off the pan and then baste it right onto the meat of the pita?? The next customer that orders a vegetarian falafel or who happens to be vegetarian/vegan they are using the same spoon to smother garlic sauce on their sandwich. Retail places like pizza shops use different pizza cutter for this exact reason and yet this place doesn't give a sh*t.

When I asked them why not have the sauce inside a bottle their reply was "sauce is too thick".... What a load a crap
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Jul 7, 2017
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Maybe that's how it's done in the old country. Authenticity.
Almost too cheap to shop through RFD
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Nov 13, 2010
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People with preferences or picky people should stay home. Either you like it and accept it or dont go. Dont expect them to change their food/ways/tradition...

You can always try a place which does it to your preferences, plenty of choice in gta
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Oct 23, 2004
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There's an interesting general discussion to be had here but too bad you chose to title and base your post entirely around a local complaint with a place most people haven't heard of
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Sep 1, 2005
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ReeGee wrote: There's an interesting general discussion to be had here but too bad you chose to title and base your post entirely around a local complaint with a place most people haven't heard of
Agreed. A lot of restaurants/owners/staff don't quite "respect" the extent of customer's "restrictions". Restaurants are a bit too lackadaisical in respecting "real/religious" reason vs just personal preference. Cross contamination is one thing, not respecting it at all is another.

Vegan/vegetarian, gluten free, allergies etc. It happens way too often IMO.
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Jun 29, 2010
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Highly misleading title there. The words cross contamination should be reserved for health code violations.

I put this on the same level as A&W cooking their beyond burgers on the same grill as the meat burgers. If it‘s so important for a vegetarian/ vegan to avoid all molecular contact with meat then either ask or don’t go to places that sell meat
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Feb 16, 2018
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ShoNuff2 wrote: Highly misleading title there. The words cross contamination should be reserved for health code violations.

I put this on the same level as A&W cooking their beyond burgers on the same grill as the meat burgers. If it‘s so important for a vegetarian/ vegan to avoid all molecular contact with meat then either ask or don’t go to places that sell meat
Technically you are correct but as someone who works in the industry, that is not how the public sees it which you can argue matters more than getting the term correct since they are the ones spending $$ in the restaurant.

It's kind of like how gloves are used in the restaurant industry. They are not there for any other reason than satisfy public perception and to give the illusion that the food is handled better that way. Anyone in the industry and the health inspectors themselves will tell you gloves are an illusion simply for the public to feel better. They are not a requirement in any way shape or form and the health department prefers that gloves not be used at all as they lead to carelessness, give a false sense of better food handling and they are less sanitary than someone wearing no gloves.

Someone somewhere years ago decided to wear gloves in his/her establishment for that illusion and it just took off from there. Public perception is gloves are more sanitary, which is completely false but it's better to give the public what they want rather than argue with them
Last edited by HghSsociety on Feb 9th, 2020 5:53 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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HghSsociety wrote: Technically you are correct but as someone who works in the industry, that is not how the public sees it which you can argue matters more than getting the term correct since they are the ones spending $$ in the restaurant.

It's kind of like how gloves are used in the restaurant industry. They are not there for any other reason than satisfy public perception and to give the illusion that the food is handled better that way. Anyone in the industry and the health inspectors themselves will tell you gloves are an illusion simply for the public to feel better. They are not a requirement in any way shape or form and the health department prefers that gloves not be used at all as they lead to carelessness, give a false sense of better food handling and it can be argued that they are less sanitary than someone wearing no gloves.
If the restaurant thinks it will affect so many customers that it will affect their bottom line they will make the change. I doubt it’s an issue at the moment.

I agree gloves give a false sense of security unless used properly. Proper hand hygiene and learning about the real meaning of “cross contamination” is the most important thing
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Feb 16, 2018
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ShoNuff2 wrote: If the restaurant thinks it will affect so many customers that it will affect their bottom line they will make the change. I doubt it’s an issue at the moment.

I agree gloves give a false sense of security unless used properly. Proper hand hygiene and learning about the real meaning of “cross contamination” is the most important thing
It's not an issue as the cost is miniscule in the grand scheme of things but I have read enough posts on here and in other forums or reviews on google/yelp wherever about "that places didn't use gloves" and the health inspector themselves will tell you they get numerous complaints each month about places not wearing gloves even when it's not required that any restaurant not using them is silly not to, as that is public perception even though it is completely wrong.
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Nov 9, 2013
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Not cool to label them like that if a place never claims to be vegan or vegetarian friendly. Like apnayloags stated above, there are plenty of places around the GTA that are 100% vegan/vegetarian-friendly. Also like thriftshopper said, you can't be expecting such accommodating when you go to ethnic establishments that insist on keeping things traditional from the old country. There are so many food products sold out at establishments and sold already prepared and packed in grocery stores like pizzas, other baked items, etc. that have beef/pork/poultry/eggs/dairy/seafood ingredients that so many people can't consume and have to avoid them because of that.
[OP]
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Strafe1 wrote: Not cool to label them like that if a place never claims to be vegan or vegetarian friendly. Like apnayloags stated above, there are plenty of places around the GTA that are 100% vegan/vegetarian-friendly. Also like thriftshopper said, you can't be expecting such accommodating when you go to ethnic establishments that insist on keeping things traditional from the old country. There are so many food products sold out at establishments and sold already prepared and packed in grocery stores like pizzas, other baked items, etc. that have beef/pork/poultry/eggs/dairy/seafood ingredients that so many people can't consume and have to avoid them because of that.
Even if the establishment isn't vegetarian friendly or vegan it doesn't make it right to have meat pieces get contaminated with the garlic sauce because that is what's happening. My point is if someone is a vegan or vegetarian an establishment should not be doing this. Even from a health code perspective that is a big no-no. I called it cross contamination because that's exactly what is happening, the garlic sauce is getting pieces from chicken and beef mixed in with the sauce and it's there for god knows how long.

Asking me to eat elsewhere isn't the solution, I am trying to point out that even if it's cultural differences that doesn't stop the fact that here in Canada the health code regulations don't allow this. Even at a pizza place a health inspector expects to have two different pizza cutters to avoid cross contamination. This is no different.
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Feb 16, 2018
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OrangeBerry wrote: I called it cross contamination because that's exactly what is happening, the garlic sauce is getting pieces from chicken and beef mixed in with the sauce and it's there for god knows how long.
Cross contamination is not what is happening. I've been in the restaurant business for a long time. Read above where I hinted that the public misunderstands the correct terminology and it's pointless to argue. You are a perfect example. A quick google search would tell you that what is happening is not cross contamination yet you still want to claim the opposite.

Technically cross contamination as defined by the health department is not what is happening. Cross contamination is " the unintentional physical movement or transfer of a biological, chemical or physical hazard from a person, object or place to another." Basically when bacteria pathogens or other microorganisms are unintentionally transferred from one substance to another. Examples would be raw meat juices touching ready to eat foods. Someone using unwashed hands to handle food. The reason pizza places are supposed to use 2 different pizza cutters is not for cross contamination but for allergens, they are not the same.

Cooked meats are not a physical hazard in the scenario you are describing. If the meat was cooked and stored properly there is no bacteria to spread. Now if the meat was 2 hours old and left at room temperature than yes it can become a cross contamination issue because bacteria has had a chance to form, but restaurants are not allowed to let this happen to being with. Cooked and properly stored meats touching a vegans dish is not a physical hazard

Now you can make the claim that what they are doing isn't morally correct and they can not truly claim they have a vegan dish when they are doing what you described and I would agree 100%, but it is not cross contamination.
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Mar 16, 2009
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Ignore these vegan extremist nutjobs trying to shove their idiocy down the throats of normal people that eat meat.
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HghSsociety wrote: Cross contamination is not what is happening. I've been in the restaurant business for a long time. Read above where I hinted that the public misunderstands the correct terminology and it's pointless to argue. You are a perfect example. A quick google search would tell you that what is happening is not cross contamination yet you still want to claim the opposite.

Technically cross contamination as defined by the health department is not what is happening. Cross contamination is " the unintentional physical movement or transfer of a biological, chemical or physical hazard from a person, object or place to another." Basically when bacteria pathogens or other microorganisms are unintentionally transferred from one substance to another. Examples would be raw meat juices touching ready to eat foods. Someone using unwashed hands to handle food. The reason pizza places are supposed to use 2 different pizza cutters is not for cross contamination but for allergens, they are not the same.

Cooked meats are not a physical hazard in the scenario you are describing. If the meat was cooked and stored properly there is no bacteria to spread. Now if the meat was 2 hours old and left at room temperature than yes it can become a cross contamination issue because bacteria has had a chance to form, but restaurants are not allowed to let this happen to being with. Cooked and properly stored meats touching a vegans dish is not a physical hazard

Now you can make the claim that what they are doing isn't morally correct and they can not truly claim they have a vegan dish when they are doing what you described and I would agree 100%, but it is not cross contamination.
OP’s title tricked me into thinking it was a the more common public health definition of cross contamination.
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May 30, 2010
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How do you get sympathy on your complaint, but by linking it to a larger health and/or health and hygiene related food contamination issue? Unless that restaurant is advertising itself as "vegan" there is nothing to see here. Garlic sauce mixing with meat, that most traditionally is served with garlic sauce, just a matter of how much of it one wants. Really? LOL

There should be no reason to assume that the vegetarian options are "vegan" if they also prepare and serve animal protein based items. There are plenty of "Vegan" restaurants in the city to chose from. Restaurants offer vegetarian choices, to appeal to a larger customer base, not to cater to a niche that will preclude their main market. Most vegetarians I know (vegans, ovo/lacto/ pescatarians) know the difference, and make informed choices, even before they order, just by looking at the menu items. If they want vegan, they won't even eat there.

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