Hotels in legal move over rare meat

Five-star hotel restaurants ask diners to sign legal waiver for beef served anything but well-done.
Hotels in legal move over rare meat
By Andy Sambidge
Tue 29 Jul 2008 07:32 AM

Restaurants at a hotel chain in the UAE have started to serve an unusual side dish with its beef patties served anything less than well-done - a legal document.

The five-star Shangri-La Hotel chain, which has hotels in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, says the document is meant to discourage customers from ordering rare or partially rare hamburgers and to protect the hotel from “any consequences that may result due to the consumption” of such meat.

“We just want to make sure that we serve the best quality food and the safest,” said Neil Rumbaoa, the director of communications at the Shangri-La Hotel in Dubai in UAE daily The National on Tuesday. “And so if it’s rare, obviously there are factors that will contribute to how safe the food is.”

While hotel officials said diners who order medium or medium-rare burgers were not required to waive their rights in writing, waiters were normally obliged to ask diners to give their verbal consent to indemnify the hotel from legal action.

After that, the waiter is required to note the name of the guest, the temperature of the meat and the time at which it was served in the restaurant’s logbook for future reference.

Eating rare or raw ground beef carries the risk of illness from pathogenic strains of bacteria, mostly variants of the E.coli species. Thoroughly cooking the meat reduces the risk of infection to almost nil.

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