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New Yorkers have a conflicted relationship to food safety. Few cities outside Japan can boast such a widespread love of sushi. Most self-respecting New Yorkers consider a medium-rare steak or hamburger to be a birthright, intrepid gourmets sneak untold amounts of French raw-milk cheeses through customs at Kennedy Airport, and the Grand Central Oyster Bar has been shucking as many as 5,000 oysters a day since 1913. Were rats a delicacy here, as they are in parts of China, we’d demand the right to rat tartare with a raw egg on top.
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In the abstract he makes some good points, but as to the real-world impact of seeing a restaurant carpeted with rodents, I think he's somewhat naive. An attempt to educate people out of their adverse reaction to such sights would be at best charmingly quixotic, at worst a waste of time and money. We all know there will always be pests in restaurants, but out of sight is out of mind, and that does mean out of sight.

 

And I too query the career-wisdom of positioning oneself as a rat advocate. :P

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It may be the case that most food bourne illness is due to contamination by humans but that may be because that is the source hardest to control. It's easy to put down traps, it's not so easy to ensure that employees wash their hands.

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