Wednesday 15 February 2012 10.44am
Boss St Bloke wrote:
I have been in a restaurant in SE1 that refused to allow me to take home the food I had paid for "on health grounds" - they argued I might get food poisoning.
What about fish and chip shops or your local Chinese? - they are set up specifically for you to take the food away.
The bottom line - if I have paid for it it's mine. If I was refused a doggie bag I would make a point and wrap it in anything on me and still take it away.
They are quite right to refuse on health grounds.
If you buy a take away, you are buying it with the intention if eating it as it comes, not taking it home, sticking it in the fridge and then re-heating it the next day. It is cooked in the take-away premises to be consumed straight away.
If you buy a meal in a restaurant, can't finish it, and want to take it away, then you are not intending to consume it straight away.
The health risk comes from reheating already cooked food. Bacteria grow between 5 and 60 degrees (roughly)and the more times the food spends at this temperature, the more bacteria grows. It needs to be heated throughout to above 70 degrees to kill any bacteria.
If you take food away from the restaurant, stick it in your fridge, don't store it properly, don't reheat it properly etc, then eat it and get ill, the restaurant that sold it to you has no way of proving that it wasn't their fault. You could blame them for food poisoning when it could have been your own fault.
Yes, it is overly beaurocratic and a sign of the culture we live in, but they are only protecting themselves from potential legal action.