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Food Safety Emergency and Social Media Discussion

Food Safety Emergency and Social Media Discussion

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Please read the “SafeFood” blog entry below. How do you feel about how the restaurant handled the response to the emergency they faced? What do you think was actually going on at the restaurant, while the electricity was out, if they were truly keeping the food safe? Why would the restaurant post updates using social media? Your answer should be at least one paragraph made up of at least five sentences.

SafeFood© and social media (Links to an external site.)

I “Like” restaurants on facebook for one of three reasons, 1) I love the restaurant, eat there often and want to keep up on things, 2) I love the restaurant, live too far away to eat there often and don’t want to miss out on what is happening, or 3) I’m pretty sure the restaurant isn’t going to make it to see another year, and I want to collect more stories to add to my Why Restaurants Fail: a book of case studies, published only in my head. I like to think it is the academic in me and not my darker side.

Well one restaurant that falls into category #3 has thankfully defied my predictions and is still around well after I friended them. In fact, if the 20-something family member that posts for them is to be believed, they had a good 2012.

When the snow storm hit central Iowa shortly before Christmas this year I noticed this restaurant made these posts.

Dec. 20th – I’m typing this at our house, because we haven’t had electricity at the restaurant all day so far, however all food is safe. We’ll be back Friday to complete orders, don’t worry about that.

Later on Dec. 20th – We will still be open on Friday to complete orders. We won’t let anyone down.

I thought it was interesting and was personally pleased he had mentioned the safety of his food. Then I just hoped that the food was actually safe. Without electricity home refrigerators are only good for 4 hours. (Links to an external site.)A commercial cooler not opened might or might not last a little longer. Most potentially hazardous food that is over 40° for over 2 hours should be thrown away. (Links to an external site.)

More posts followed:

Dec. 21 – There is still no electricity at the restaurant. We have made arrangements to keep our food preserved. We WILL fulfill orders made for today and we will still be able to take some if you can get a hold of us through email or cell phones.

Dec. 22 – Finally, we have our power back!

Dec. 27 – We’re back, fresh and ready here at the restaurant. We’re ready for NYE (New Year’s Eve), baby!

Now I was really wondering how all those holiday orders got done and how safe they were. So is it best to reassure your customers in a situation like this or just not mention food safety and maybe they won’t think about it?

A recent post (maybe he was thinking of a solution to the above problem):

Jan. 21 – Not that we are doing this, but it’s so cold outside…that if we wanted, we could store the frozen (food items) outside.

I think it may be in the best interest of this restaurant if they would stick to posting pictures of their food and an occasional event or special, but I do find his posts “interesting”. What do you think?


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