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Saturday, July 19, 2008


Don't Let Sarku Scare You - Just Be Watchful with this Japanese Fast Food (Keep Your Eye on the Cooks)

On Friday I was at the Fox River Mall for an errand and tried to get a bite in the food court. I tried to eat at Sarku Japan, a Japanese fast food place. I order the vegetarian soba noodles dish and then watched the two cooks making food on the cast iron grill right in front of the waiting customers. One cook on the left was busy throwing raw pork on the grill to create a big batch of cooked meat, while the other cook tossed my noodles and veggies on the grill on the right. The guy cooking the pork patted it down, pressing it onto the grill and causing it to scoot closer and closer to my noodles. The cook handling the noodles tossed them and I noticed that some of the noodles landed on the raw meat. Just a small portion of a few noodles, but there was definitely contact of my noodles with raw pork. I thought I wouldn't worry about it if he kept the noodles cooking a little longer to hopefully kill of any bacteria that might have been picked up, but just seconds after the noodles contacted the raw meat, they were scooped up and put on my plate.

At this point I protested to the cook, saying that I wasn't happy with what just happened because my noodles touched the raw meat. He didn't look at me and just uttered something like "no problem," though it was hard to hear. I repeated my concern and explained carefully and slowly to him what had happened - I don't think he spoke much English, unfortunately. "The noodles touched the meat - the raw meat. It can have germs, and that can put them on the noodles. That's not safe." He still didn't look at me and just ignored what I was saying. I explained to the guy at the cashier what had happened - I think he was the manager, and asked for a refund, which he did politely but without comment. OK, maybe I'm one of those intolerant anti-bacteria lunatics, but having had a bout or two of food poisoning in the past, I'm not interested in repeating the experience. Sloppy practices are an unnecessary risk. I'm sure Sarku will be more careful in the future and that cooks will be trained to watch where the raw meat is, where it goes, and what it touches.

Cooked food should never touch raw meat right before being served. So if you get food there, be sure to keep your eye on the grill.
Gosh Jeff, do you have any other problems in life??? You are overreacting just a teeny tiny bit, don't you think?
Food safety is a bigger issue than many people realize. Sloppy practices lead to mny cases of illnesses. I maybe crazy for objecting to a touch of raw pork fluids in my meal - so be it.
I don't blame you, Jeff. As a lifelong vegetarian, I've fought that battle myself. The slightest bit of meat sneaking into my meal makes me terribly ill.
I think there is little indication that they will be better in the future.
I was just over at the mall getting food from sarku japan. There was a very old lay with her daughter who was probably around her late fourties in front of me. The older lady had a big push thing cause she was so old. So they had my foood ready and one of the guys who worked there said I can get my food. But the two older ladies were in my way and I was like she very old so instead of pushing her outta the way or squeezing inh front of her I waited and the guy told me again to get my foood. I said the lady is in my way and he got angry and started sweari g at me in hispanic. He calleded me a retarded dumbass and said I should die. Now I took spanish since the third grade so I knew wat he said and he didn't apologize he jux glared at me like he was goin g to kill me or something buut def don't like the threats. Never going back
I just ate there today and got sick. I also ordered vegetarian noodles and I had to pull over and vomit on the side of a major highway. It was the only thing I ate so far today.
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