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Shaw Likes His Rat Tartare with an Egg On Top; Shopsin Wants DOH Shuttered

Steven "The Fat Guy" Shaw (right), eGullet daddy and eater about town, penned an op-ed piece for the Times today on the subject of New York's current fixation on rats. His overarching message: enough with the rats already:

Rats in restaurants, while distasteful, are more a distraction than a disaster for public health. As reported in this newspaper, flies — each one a potential airborne disease carrier — are a more dire threat. So are cows, sheep and pigs, whose excrement can contaminate food at its source with E. coli, as was recently believed to be the case with California spinach and with vegetables served at Taco Bell. And to echo the punch line of many a nature documentary, the greatest threat to restaurant sanitation is man: salmonella, for example, is typically initiated or spread through improper hand-washing, food handling or cooking...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.

Not an unreasonable take, save for the last bit. But how about the more insidious question of what to make of the Department of Health's handling of the rat situation? Ken Shopsin checks in with us today on this very topic. Ken: "The real problem is that the DOH spends its money inspecting restaurants instead of killing rats. The rodent population has been at epidemic proportions for the last 25 years. The subways and regular buildings are overrun with them. What should be closed is the DOH."
· Take a Rat to Dinner [NYT via Cutlets]

photo via UDaily

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