When it comes to E. coli in your burrito, don't be so quick to blame the farmer. A lot of hands touch food before it gets to your mouth, and last night, Channel 4's Joel Grover—the same Joel Grover who's stories about unclean restaurants helped propel LA's beloved letter grade system—uncovered yet another reason to worry. Produce distribution warehouses are cesspools of Hell, especially the Seventh Street Market. Rats, disgusting bathrooms, rats, men peeing near the food, rats? you get the picture. We almost wish we didn't:
Where does this possibly contaminated produce end up? NBC4 tracked it to well-known chains like Johnny Rockets and IHOP. It goes to trendy restaurants, like Sushi of Naples in Pasadena and Long Beach, and to many smaller eateries like Pita Pita also in Pasadena.Note the words "possibly contamidated." We're all for shock value, but no physical connection is made between the disgusting things we witness in the piece and people consuming the produce. And Sushi of Naples is nowhere near trendy. But once you dig through the local-news shocking! tone of it all, it is thought provoking. Who wants to see rats nibbling a mango next to one you might buy somewhere? There are many food distribution centers in this city, plus national ones, and almost 100 farmer's markets, where a lot of restaurants get their produce. Chances are slim you'll get sick from this warehouse. Unless you eat at IHOP, which is always a gamble.
· Contaminated: Produce Market Investigation [NBC4]