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Dear PoPville – Why was I Refused a Doggy-Bag for my Leftover Mussels?

by Prince Of Petworth June 21, 2013 at 1:30 pm 50 Comments

mussels_to_go
Photo by flickr user avlxyz

Dear PoPville,

The real issue started toward the end of the meal. My friend wanted to take most of her meal home with her. The woman who cleared my plate said this wasn’t possible. We didn’t quite understand and asked to speak with our server. My friend and I looked at one another and wondered if there was a language issue or if we were unclear somehow. Our server proceeded to tell us that it was the restaurant’s policy that no shellfish leave the premises with customers due to allergy concerns. This struck us as strange.

At this point we asked to speak with a manager, as neither of us had heard of anything like this before and my friend had over half of her mussels left.

The manager finally came over. He explained that it was the restaurant’s policy and that it is traditional for French and Belgian restaurants to do this for fear that the chef might have undercooked a mussel. He said that if my friend got sick from mussels that he wouldn’t want her to blame the restaurant. I thought, wouldn’t she get sick regardless of whether she took the mussels home or not if they were undercooked to begin with?

I’m pretty sure this a food safety issue. Can any good researchers out there find the explanation of why you aren’t allowed to take home mussels from a restaurant?

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