AHS finds Calgary Booster Juice location used surface sanitizer on fruits, vegetables

A Booster Juice location in Calgary was ordered to change its sanitization routine for fruits and vegetables after an Alberta Health Services (AHS) investigation found chemicals, cleansers and other agents were being handled improperly, among other issues.

Health inspectors visited the Booster Juice at 20 Crowfoot Crescent N.W. on Dec. 30, following a complaint from the public. They found that fruit and vegetables were being washed in Sani Stuff disinfectant — a product designed for use on equipment and counters.


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According to the report, the label on the sanitizer did not say it could be used for washing fruits and vegetables.

“It states that it can be used for sanitizing counters, equipment and food contact surfaces only,” the report reads.

In addition, the restaurant was found to have Windex stain remover chemicals stored in spray bottles labelled for Sani Stuff.

A description of Sani Stuff on the producer Amvor’s website states the sanitizer is designed for surfaces in industrial, institutional, hospital and food establishments. Its hazard identification also states it could cause severe skin burns and eye damage. The website also states it is not to be used undiluted.

The restaurant was ordered to stop using Sani Stuff for soaking fruit and vegetables, which AHS said Friday it complied with. It was also ordered to re-label bottles to identify whether they contain chemicals.

“The amount of sanitizer that could have come into contact with food is at a very low concentration and therefore less of a health concern,” AHS said in an emailed statement. “Booster Juice was extremely co-operative and immediately took steps to ensure health and safety at all of their locations.”

Along with the chemical and cleaner violations, the Booster Juice location was found to be storing wheat grass planters above fruit and vegetables that were ready to eat. There was also no probe thermometer available.

The restaurant was ordered to provide a probe thermometer and move the wheat grass planters to a bottom shelf.

The AHS report states a followup is required, which a spokesperson for the organization said on Friday had happened since the inspection.

In an emailed statement from Booster Juice president and CEO Dale Wishewan, the company said it was an isolated incident.

Wishewan said the Crowfoot location is “going through retraining procedures to ensure our proper cleaning and food preparation procedures are followed,” adding all violations will be addressed.

“Specific to food handling, our cleaning sanitizer is diluted to 200ppm, and is used for sanitizing hard surfaces,” Wishewan said. “The immersion dunk method is also used in our three-compartment sink systems for non-porous utensils. This product should not be used for cleaning fruits or vegetables.”

Wishewan went on to say that if any location doesn’t follow the company’s strict food handling procedures, which are outlined in a checklist, or use the proper tools available, the company deals with it immediately.

“This was an isolated incident and we will do our very best to ensure this never happens again at any Booster Juice location,” he said.

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