UM Today UM Today University of Manitoba UM Today UM Today UM Today

CBC: Dirty food

September 3, 2015 — 

Twelve Manitoba restaurants have been ordered to temporarily close between June 1 and the end of August by Manitoba Health and University of Manitoba professor Rick Holley shared his thoughts with the CBC on this matter.

As the CBC reports:

“I think it’s cause for significant concern. Restaurants contribute to almost half of the recorded food-born illness outbreaks [in North America] that we know about. So it’s not insubstantial,” said Rick Holley, a professor in the department of food science at the University of Manitoba.

Holley said some of the violations are far outside the realm of what can be reasonably explained, and that those working in the food service industry should know better.

As for the bad publicity that comes with the health department publicly releasing the information, Holley said it’s perfectly appropriate.

Rick Holley is a food safety expert at the University of Manitoba. (CBC)

“You have repeat offenders and where the problems are not necessarily life threatening directly, fines can be assessed for repeat offenders. And closures are the result of the kinds of deficiencies that could clearly cause illness or death in some patrons,” Holley said.

It is important for restaurant owners and employees to recognize their potential impact on the public, Holley said.

The main reason Holley sees for restaurants to cut corners is financial constraints. Often the number of staff is slashed to save money, which means restaurants don’t have the appropriate staff on to ensure food is handled safely.

“I think that’s probably a major factor that affects business culture at every level in the very large operations, as well as the very small ones, and that’s really unfortunate,” Holley said.

Holley advises consumers to check the full list and consider taking those establishments off their list of usual stops.

“Generally speaking closures are more serious, in as much that you have a more major failure. [For example] water is being used that’s not from an approved source, it’s not hot enough, the dishwasher doesn’t operate properly, there’s something wrong with the plumbing, general sanitation is really poor. Why would you want to go to a place like that?”



© University of Manitoba • Winnipeg, Manitoba • Canada • R3T 2N2

Emergency: 204-474-9341