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May 19, 2007 10:50 AM

Regarding health concerns

So apparently we can't discuss food poisoning (a mistake IMHO) but can we link to stories or government sites about health department closures and violations or will those be deleted too?

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    1. re: The Chowhound Team

      I would like to applaud the Chowhound Team for preventing this kind of gossip. Too often someone gets sick and blames it on their most recent visit to a restaurant, when in fact it is something they ate two or three days beforehand (often at home). Or it's not even food related at all. Unless you save a sample of what you ate and have it tested in a lab, you cannot be sure what caused any illness.

      1. re: mojoeater

        mojo, I agree that too many people want to blame their most recent meal for their tummy upset. I think some of us on CH can go deeper than that, however. Food issues are looming larger and larger in the US. I'm not saying someone should post that "Joe's Cafe made me sick," and get a lot of "I'm not going there" responses,when it's really little daughter Susie's unwashed hands that did it. But we should be able to discuss foodborne illness vectors and food safety and food production modes and any number of things related to the stuff we put in our mouths. The search for delicousness can be a search that is well-informed. If we want to continue to eat well, we have to think about some of the health issues we're faced with. IMHO.

        1. re: cayjohan

          Sure, but I imagine that opens Chowhound up to liability. I'm delighted that Chowhound is hosting this party in which I can accumulate great chowtips, and through which I eat incredibly well. But why on earth should chowhound get sued because I said that I saw mice at all the NYC restaurants where I've seen them? Fact is, nobody can verify such claims. And so it seems reasonable to me that the Chowhound Team sets ground rules for our (free, informative, fun) discussion.

          1. re: rose water

            Agreed - and although I've got to confess to never checking myself, I think most cities have websites where one can check the results of department of health ratings if one so chooses. Have to confess, I prefer to remain blissfully ignorant.

          2. re: cayjohan

            I see those kinds of posts all the time. We trade tips on food handling, storage, etc. There are many, many threads about "How long will___ last in my fridge?" And it's great that we can help eachother that way.

            1. re: cayjohan

              I certainly agree that health issues regarding our food source and the like are important issues, maybe even more important because of the recent problems.

              That being said, I fail to understand why CH has to take up the mantle of being the web portal that provides that discussion. CH is best when the focus is narrow and clear (or as can be as narrow and clear as possible). I don't even have to do a Google search to know that there are forums out there discussing health issues related to food.

        2. Even with the link to the official policy, this question remains unanswered.
          Specifically, the policy states, in part:

          "Places actually closed by the board of health create a problem for us. There's clear need for hounds to be informed of restaurants closed for any reason, but discussion following announcements of health dept closings inevitably brings out the aforementioned problems. So it's ok to announce temporary closings, but not discuss or ask about the issues underlying the closing."

          And the question being asked is attempting to clarify the ambiguous word "underlying"
          in the policy.

          Specifically, if Restaurant X is shut down for health code violations, is it within
          the policy to post the following:
          "Restaurant X has been temporarily closed." ?

          My reading of the policy says that's OK. Now what about this:
          "Restaurant X has been temporarily closed by the Board of Health." ?

          2 Replies
          1. re: Chuckles the Clone

            The latter is also okay. It's the 'Does anyone know what the violation was?' and the 'I heard they found X' and other discussion of the issue that we're trying to avoid.

            1. re: Chuckles the Clone

              Been awhile since I checked back. Thanks to Chuckles for returning the discussion to the point.