Friday, October 7, 2011


HACCP. It's an acronym that stands for Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point. You can walk into any food service establishment in the U.S. and every manager in the building can probably tell you what HACCP means. HACCP is a system that is developed by restaurants to control the spread of food borne illnesses. Wikipedia defines food borne illnesses as any illness resulting from the consumption of contaminated foods, pathogenic bacteria, viruses or parasites. 

I used to be an Olive Garden manager so I am familiar with HACCP. Food Storage practices, proper cooking temperatures, proper heating and cooling of foods, sanitized cutting boards, how you work with raw meats, using tongs when cooking and serving, washing your hands .....the list goes on. All of these fit within the practice of HACCP. What does this have to do with Merida? Take a look at the following two pictures.

Bienvenidos a Wal Mart. Wal Mart knows better than this. I was also a Sam's Club manager and believe me, every bakery and meat department manager and associate in Wal Mart/Sam's Club in the continental U.S. knows HACCP. You would get fired for doing this in the states.

There were meat toppings on some of those pizzas. They are being served at room temperature for hours at a time. There are no food service tongs meaning people are grabbing food with their hands, including kids. People can cough and sneeze within 15 feet of that table and everything coming out of their mouths can land on that food. I could keep going.

In every major restaurant company and grocery chain in the U.S. you have Quality Assurance/Compliance departments that are meant to make sure that their stores exceed Health Department standards so that no one winds up on the evening news for the wrong reasons. When we lived in San Antonio, TX we would constantly see Mexican Taqueria's being covered on the news because they were being shut down for improper HAACP and rodent infestations.

I am seriously doubting that they have the same QA standards or procedures here. Many companies from north of the border only do what Mexican Law requires of them and little if anything else. You need to be aware of this and take precautionary measures for you and your family if you choose to live here. What precautionary measures? I will list them on the next post.


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