Sorry for the Salmonella says food services

The University of Western Ontario has taken what one newspaper called "the unusual step" of apologizing the salmonella food poisoning outbreak that has been linked to its on-campus food service.

The move comes a day after some pushback to statements made by Susan Grindrod, Associate Vice-President of Housing and Ancillary Services, who earlier said,

"This is the first [salmonella contamination] we’ve had in 25 years. … We serve 30,000 people per week, and while it’s nice to have sanitary practices, there’s no 150 per cent guarantee.”

In the apology yesterday, Grindrod said,

“We have made a number of recommended changes to further improve all our food handling and sanitary practices. These include the installation of hands-free sanitization stations at entrances to the Centre Spot, the hiring of an independent health and safety inspector to provide suggestions on enhanced food safety processes, and further measures to avoid cross contamination between foods.” 

What Grindrod did not mention is the steps Western takes to verify that suppliers — especially suppliers of fresh fruits and vegetables — are taking steps to reduce the risk of contamination from the farm through to the Western receiving dock.

The Rochester Post-Bulletin in Minnesota reported yesterday that a salmonella outbreak that sickened 20 who ate at a Quizno’s Subs had been traced to tomatoes that were contaminated before they even got to the restaurant.

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About Douglas Powell

A former professor of food safety and the publisher of, Powell is passionate about food, has five daughters, and is an OK goaltender in pickup hockey. Download Doug’s CV here. Dr. Douglas Powell editor, retired professor, food safety 3/289 Annerley Rd Annerley, Queensland 4103 61478222221 I am based in Brisbane, Australia, 15 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time