Closed means closed: Alberta hotel, employees fined for ignoring closure order

The Delta Edmonton Centre Suite Hotel is a nice enough place. I stayed there a while ago, in February, and I’ve never been so cold in my life. Look at a map. Saskatoon was almost as cold but Edmonton is farther north.

Not so sure about the food safety culture, after the owner, the head chef, and the food and beverage director were hit with fines Friday totaling $15,000 for operating its kitchen despite a closure order.

The Edmonton Sun reports that provincial court Judge Paul Sully said,

“I recognize that food preparation is a very serious matter on the one hand and, on the other hand, I recognize this was a result of a fire and will not likely happen again.”

Court heard health inspectors closed the main kitchen at the downtown hotel in October after a fire in a transformer room led to the kitchen having no running water, however staff continued to prepare meals using a board room.

A health inspector discovered kitchen staff were cooking meat dishes in the fifth-floor boardroom using roasters and had crock pots containing prepared rice dishes.

Court heard the conditions were not sanitary, there were issues with food temperatures, there was no liquid soap or paper towels for hand washing and there was no equipment for cleaning or sanitizing utensils and other items.

Alberta Health Services prosecutor Rob O’Neill said,

“Closed means closed. When the health department shuts you down, you don’t go behind their back and operate somewhere else.”

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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