Dog Turds and Toothbrushes


Amused & annoyed by the lack of formal response from Subway, I decided to reboot (again with editing help from Dave).  I sent a new message via the webform (luckily this time it fell within their character limit), and also via snail mail:

Hello Friends!

This message is less about a specific Subway location, and more about Subway practices in general.

I hear from recent news reports that Subway has their cheese tessellation issues under control and will assert a more correct cheese placement this July.  Independence for dairy goodness!

Although I was worried about the cheese triangle issue, I am still more concerned about food allergen and cross-contamination awareness in Subway Employees and Sandwich Artists.

Are you aware of how many people out there suffer from some sort of food allergy?  I believe it’s 11% of the population.  Myself, I’m affected with a severe allergy to shellfish.  I can’t eat in your fine stores unless they’re the small ones in places like Wal-Mart that don’t serve the deadly dreaded seafood death sub.

Not only does the creamy death-inducing concoction reside right beside the other meat, the cheeses, and toppings; it often spews all over the open containers when it’s scooped out with that poor miserable ice-cream scoop.

Then we have the community knife.  If one were to cut someone’s seafood sub with that knife, wipe it off, then cut my sub, there are STILL allergens on that knife, enough allergens to kill me.  Do you want me to be thrown in to an Anaphylactic fit?  I doubt it.  Well, at least, I hope not.

Think about this – do you share your toothbrush with everyone in your household?  Would you with everyone in your office?  Would you share it with everyone that you pass on the way to work in the morning or with everyone who’s eating lunch with you at the same place where you’re choosing to dine?

Yes, it sounds gross, but those potential germs that you’re no doubt currently horrified of are the same as the very real allergens that will most certainly throw me into instant death.

If that didn’t do it for you, imagine I put a giant dried dog turd on the sandwich board, cut it in half, wrapped it, wiped off the knife, and then cut your sandwich.  By Subway’s current logic, that knife is clean and contamination free.  This is most certainly not a pretty picture to you, my friend.  Is it?

I really am looking forward to your thoughts on this issue.  I hope to have a continued dialog until the issue is brought to the attention of those in charge of such things.

I thank you in advance for your time, and I hope to hear from you soon!

Blowing your mind,
-Eric

P.S. – I was wondering, when you work in an office for Subway, do you have an in-office Subway in which the employees receive (or make) their own lunch?  Or, is there a Subway nearby where you get free or discounted food?  Or, are you all too sick of Subway to eat there?

Letters to Subway

Letters to Subway

I had to resort to snail mail to see if I get a better response.  Emails are sadly all too easy to ignore.  Unless you’re persistent, I guess.  I did get a response from Paula Gomez again, this time in direct response to the above message sent via direct email, not the webform:

From: Paula Gomez gomez_p@subway.com
Date: Thu, Jun 24, 2010
Subject: Subway & Allergen Cross-Contamination
To: world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com

Dear Mr Aixelsyd:

Thank you again for your time and sharing your comments. We value the input of our customers and take this as an opportunity to improve our business and satisfy our guests.

The Company policy directs our independent restaurant owners / operators to take all necessary precautions to prevent the possibility of cross contamination. This includes the policy of washing all utensils and containers after each use. Each restaurant is independently owned and operated and is the responsibility of the franchise owner to implement and enforce the policy.

We will ensure that this important message is reiterated with each restaurant to ensure that proper procedures are followed.

Again, I appreciate you taking the time to contact us. SUBWAY® looks forward to your continued visits.

Sincerely

Paula Gomez

***DISCLAIMER***

The information contained in this e-mail and attachments, if any, is confidential and may be subject to legal privilege. If you are not the intended recipient, you must not use, copy, distribute or disclose the e-mail and its attachment, or any part of its content or take any action in reliance of it. If you have received this e-mail in error please e-mail the message back to the sender by replying and then deleting it. We cannot accept responsibility for loss or damage arising from the use of this e-mail or attachments and recommend that you subject these to your virus checking procedures prior to use. Thank you.

Well, at least she remembers that I contacted them before… but I don’t think she remembers her previous responses.  I think I was assured that they all go through training.  I asked about the training, and didn’t get any solid replies.  Now, it seems to be all on the responsibility of each individual owner/operator.

Sadly but not surprisingly, my postscript about the in-office Subway situation went unanswered.  I’m guessing that’s what puts it over the top… even though I had previously mentioned the thought of a community toothbrush and a dog turd in a food prep area.

I’ll wait for some other responses (if I get any), and try to ratchet this up a notch or two.

9 responses to “Dog Turds and Toothbrushes

  1. Subway sucks, MTO FTW.

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  2. Indeed. Sheetz is beyond awesome. Perhaps I need to mess with them again.

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  5. Anyplace like Subway and Taco Bell and the like are going to have cross contamination. It’s always a possibility. And there’s no way the people who work there will ever be well trained enough to handle food allergies properly, because they are mostly minimum wage high schoolers who don’t take anything seriously. If they are trained well enough, they will have to pay them more, and then the food would cost more…and then, well, you know where I’m going with this. They’ll get hate mail from someone else about how their prices are too high. LOL

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    • Oh, I agree. But we shouldn’t have to just accept it.

      I’m not expecting to get a shellfish-free meal at Long John Silver’s or Red Lobster… but there ought to be a consumer-driven push for food quality all around.

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      • I think there will always be a danger when it comes to fast food. But you definitely have a point. No one wants to taste fish in their meatball sub. It would improve food quality.

        I wish more places were better about cross contamination. I really wish I could order some Chinese food without worrying about the potential of finding a nut or bit of egg in my food that isn’t supposed to be there. But I can’t. Even communication with them is risky, because a lot of the time, there’s that language barrier. The same is true for teens, I guess. LOL

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  6. Yeah, seems like some states are passing legislation on food allergy & cross-contamination training… but I see it being a “follow the letter not the spirit” of the law kind of thing unless it’s consumer driven. Care for the customer base and a nice profit would be better motivators IMHO.

    I feel you on the Chinese food. With my shellfish allergy, I’m scared of the sauces made from/with brine shrimp and oysters, the cooking-surface being shared for all the meats & what-not for fried rice, the communication/cultural barrier with “vegetarian” egg-rolls containing crab meat… etc. Ha ha.

    I have learned to make some mean American-Chinese-ish dishes with LaChoy Teriyaki Sauce though. I have a wok, but generally just use the electric skillet or I’ll steam the veggies. Ha ha.

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