Pigeons: Rats with wings (and Salmonella factories)

Sane New Yorkers regard them as rats with wings, and they make use of the many tools to combat pigeons on their property. But things get complicated when a neighboring property owner doesn’t care that pigeons are emitting toxic piles of excrement in a shared space between buildings.

pigeon-rats-wingsSuch was the case on the Upper West Side, where pigeons set up housekeeping on a grocery store’s outdoor air vents and cooling system. Residents of a co-op that shares a courtyard with the grocery store hired an exterminator, but the nests remain. The store’s management did not respond to calls. What’s a co-op board to do?

“The mere presence of pigeon droppings in the courtyard is an unsanitary condition” and could be grounds for a violation, Kempshall McAndrew, a real estate lawyer at Anderson Kill, tells the New York Times’ Ask Real Estate column. The board should keep the courtyard free of pigeon droppings in case an inspector visits.

Beyond that, McAndrew advises the co-op board to call the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene directly, bypassing 311. The board should photograph the area, documenting the nests as the source of the problem. It should also keep records of calls to the grocery store and of the exterminator’s efforts.

Hooters might get food safety culture

I love living in North Carolina. The weather is awesome (it’s going to be 70 on Sunday), the BBQ is awesome and, today, we have the best Hooters kitchen crew in the U.S.

Hooters Corporate put out a press release congratulating the Concord, NC franchise on having the 2008 Kitchen Crew of the year.  The press release says that the selection criterion was based on more than their ability to shake chicken wings. The crew was also evaluated on food safety awareness, performance and productivity.

Cool, positive consequences for food safety awareness. Although awareness doesn’t always translate into practice, it’s a start. It demonstrates to the staff in the organization that food safety is something they should all value (and a prize is a nice incentive).

The prize?  Some cash, a title belt and ……. custom belt buckles.  Awesome. 

The kitchen crew was presented with $10,000 cash, (to divide among the kitchen staff by tenure) as well as custom belt buckles and a HKCY title belt which will hang in the restaurant until next year’s winner is announced. The crew will also receive a feature in Hooters Magazine. In total the Concord Hooters kitchen crew received $20,000 in cash and prizes between the annual and quarterly winnings.

"We have an amazing kitchen crew in Concord," said Skip Pray, Regional Manager for Hooters of America, Inc. "It is nice to see them share the limelight with the Hooters Girls and be recognized and rewarded for their hard work."

I’ve been to Hooters a few times. I’ve never really liked the food, but I guess that’s not the point.  While I explore the state, I’m going to make sure I stop in Concord, NC and snap a pic of the title belt (and a pic of their inspection score).