Sunday, September 24, 2006 by Ospite.

We've coined it as the "nationwide spinach recall" on the floor. We're not supposed to mention "Escherichia coli" or "e. coli" or "kidney failure."

Patron Situation 1:
"You guys aren't serving any spinach are you?"
"Yeah, we figure that the chances are pretty slim of getting an infected batch."
Hey, you've got to have just a little fun with them. She turned a little white.
"I'm kidding. We knew before it hit the media and we haven't had spinach inhouse since before you saw it on CNN. Fear not, we're spinach free."
"Thank God."

Apparently people think that we prefer lawsuits to keeping our customers safe.

Patron Situation 2:
" I don't want any spinach anywhere near my food."
"Don't worry sir, there's none in the restaurant at all."
" they won't have any raw spinach near what I order?"
"No sir. We've thrown all the spinach out. There's none anywhere."
"Ok...good. I don't want to hear about spinach near my food."
"As far as I know sir, there isn't spinach within a quarter mile of where you're sitting."
"Really? That close? Maybe you should make all my food well-done."

Because I hear that e.coli travels by word of mouth...

Patron Situation 3:
"I'm sorry to inform you that in that salad, we'll have to substitute romaine or bib lettuce instead of the spinach."
"Oh God. I hadn't thought of that. Well, at least you're on top of things. Has this whole debacle caused problems for you?"
"Well, it effected far more dishes than I'd immediately thought, but most customers have been very gracious and understanding."
"That's good. I take it you got rid of all the spinach you had in the restaurant?"
"We certainly did. We immediately removed all presence of the dark green leafy terror."
She laughs...then pauses.
"Wait, did you compost it? Please tell me you composted it. If you didn't I'll feel ill all night. I'd hate to think of pounds and pounds just wasting away in your dumpster."
"Sure madam. We..uh..we composted everything."
"Thank God."

Really we had it incinerated, but I simply can't have an ill patron at my table...nor one that finds us (and therefore me) to be lacking environmental savvy.


Blogger Brad #1 said...

We have a spinach and procuitto pizza on our lunch menu. The other day, somebody ordered one, and because of the recent outbreak we forgot to tell them that we couldn't give them spinach on the pizza, and if they wanted something in its place.

Of course, they selected two things to replace for the spinach. Um, spinach doesn't really cost that much, and one of your replacements is worth more than the spinach itself.

10:31 PM  
Anonymous a fan said...

I love the spinach stories, keep them coming. Particularly the thought that e.coli in the ground as compost is so much better than a controlled burn in a sanitary waste container.

7:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You mean you managed not to sneer at eco-lady, saying:
"But madam, much like the original culprit of infected cow manure, that would return any e. coli present back into the food chain to appear unpredictably in other foods long after your befuddled butt forgot about it. But hey, at least they'd be /vegan/ e. coli, right?"

11:37 AM  
Blogger Thy said...

isnt it only fresh spinach that is banned?

i'm not real up-to-date.

5:36 PM  
Blogger Brad #1 said...

Basically, now its down to the spinach grown in the Salinas region of California which is just about all of it, unfortunately.

They'll have it fixed soon.

6:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Technically, hasn't the ban been lifted?

8:14 PM  
Blogger Brad #1 said...

Lifted for all spinach not grown in the Salinas Valley region. That's not saying much though.

12:31 PM  
Blogger Wide Lawns Subservient Worker said...

My sister the server is going through the same thing. She says people keep picking green things out of their food and accusing the green things of being hidden spinach. I had no idea people were so OCD. I thought I was bad. So glad you all "composted" that spinach!

1:28 PM  
Blogger Suz said...

Heh. I had a customer pick up a large leafy forkful of salad and yell across three tables to ask me, "Is this spinach?" I laughed and assured him we didn't treat our customers that way.

Sadly, moments later another table of mine informed me that they knew one of the women who had died. And one has to wonder if it can get into the spinach, can't it get into the other leafy greens?

It ain't easy being green!

9:31 AM  

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I am not in the restaurant business, I am in the people business. I use every opportunity to people watch, because to me, even the most mundane is fascinating.

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