Early season for summer ails

By saiyiu

June 23, 2009

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Category: News

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While this week there will be no shortage of sunshine (humidity peaks just above 30ºF!), summer heat in the city has a history of complications, which we won’t be getting away from this year.

Starting with garbage. Those living south of Steeles Avenue (phew!) have already begun to feel the waft of the municipal strike, deep into day two. Illegal dumping is being reprimanded, though it seems that city leaders are having trouble keeping bags inside homes until a residential waste drop-off can be arranged. It is not just residential areas affected, but daycares, community centres, pools .. unfortunately, places where people generally like to be during the summer.

And speaking of summer things we like, soft-serve ice-cream is being flagged. This past weekend, health inspectors from the Toronto Star randomly tested fourteen vendors to find samples returned from Toronto Public Health with coliform levels far beyond the guideline. Because some of the ice-cream vendors are mobile trucks, identifying the same vendor will be a tricky endeavor. JJ Dairy Cool, the truck just outside City Hall was found to have the highest coliform levels, 300 times greater than federal recommendations.

Retailers are not exempt, though it appears that the high coliform levels are only being found in soft-serve menu items. Companies such as Dairy Queen and Tom’s Dairy Freeze near The Queensway and Royal York Road will continue selling soft-serve, while Yogen Fruz and Lemon Squeeze by the CN Tower have confirmed a shut-down of their soft-serve machines until the inspection is completed.

If a tained ice-cream has been ingested, prolonged diarrhea is an expected symptom.

Curiously, the bacteria taint in soft-serve machines sounds awfully similar to the Maple Leaf deli meat inquiry, whereby sanitation of soft-serve machinery may be an issue. Health inspectors have not confirmed a trace to any ingredients or suppliers, and it’s too early to complete a sweep through production plants.

At least we won’t be seeing as many ice-cream wrappers in the overfilling trash bins ..?

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