Don’t change diapers in the dining room or kitchen

As a dad of a couple of messy boys, I’ve changed diapers in weird situations: in parking lots, hockey arena restrooms, on a plane. But never on the table in a fast food restaurant.

According to Gawker and Consumerist coverage, Chad, a dad in the midwest, ripped off a nasty letter to Chipotle (who got it right) after a manager asked him and his wife to stop changing their son’s diaper on a table in the dining area.

Chad, the dad in this incident, admitted in his letter that changing a diaper in a place where people eat is “unsavory,” but he still feels the Chipotle staff showed an “inability/unwillingness to empathize with parents who find [the car] a less convenient alternative even on a beautiful day like yesterday, much less a subfreezing day as we undoubtedly will have in [this region] this winter.”pootl0dmgw

Typical Chad.

He went on to say that the employees’ horrified reaction toward a dirty diaper on a table—where, again, human beings typically consume food—tipped him off that they must not have kids of their own. If they don’t install changing tables, he says, he’ll be taking his business (and his baby’s business, obviously) to Qdoba.Hard to say which fast-food Mexican chain he’s actually threatening with that one.

A rep for the company sent this rather reasonable response to the complaining father:

I can completely understand that it’s a hassle to find a way to change your daughter, and agree, that there are simply no alternatives as convenient as an actual changing table. We are currently in the process of retrofitting locations with changing tables, but I understand that this is not a very timely solution. … As you can understand it might be disconcerting for other customers to see a child getting changed directly on the tables, and we want to provide all of our customers with an exceptional experience.

Yeah, and kids diapers can leave pathogens all over the tables. Which may not be getting a clean/sanitize between customers. A 2007 outbreak of foodborne illness, leading to 4 hospitalizations, was linked to an employee changing the diaper of a diarrhea-stricken toddler in the kitchen of a Maryland Chuck E. Cheese.
This entry was posted in Wacky and Weird and tagged , by Ben Chapman. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ben Chapman

Dr. Ben Chapman is a professor and food safety extension specialist at North Carolina State University. As a teenager, a Saturday afternoon viewing of the classic cable movie, Outbreak, sparked his interest in pathogens and public health. With the goal of less foodborne illness, his group designs, implements, and evaluates food safety strategies, messages, and media from farm-to-fork. Through reality-based research, Chapman investigates behaviors and creates interventions aimed at amateur and professional food handlers, managers, and organizational decision-makers; the gate keepers of safe food. Ben co-hosts a biweekly podcast called Food Safety Talk and tries to further engage folks online through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and, maybe not surprisingly, Pinterest. Follow on Twitter @benjaminchapman.