I rarely eat burgers but, when I do, I don’t eat rare ones. However, I don’t see why I should be denied the right to choose to, if that is my desire.
I am aware of the dangers of eating undercooked mince. I have witnessed, at first hand, the devastating effects of e coli on a young relative (fully recovered now, fortunately). I know that meat infected with this bacteria can cause far more serious illnesses than mere vomiting and diarrhoea. It can cause total seizures, kidney failure, coma and even death. But, armed with this knowledge, I don’t see why I can’t choose to eat a rare burger if it is my wont to so do.
JoBurger, an upmarket burger joint in Rathmines in Dublin, has recently been warned by the HSE (Health Service Executive) to stop offering rare and medium rare burgers in their restaurant (See Irish Times). These burgers were on offer with a disclaimer. So, basically, the customer was warned of the possible health risks involved. So what is the problem? Monty’s of Katmandu offer a raw lamb starter (kachela) but I don’t see them being threatened with closure. But that is beside the point. What bothers me is that we are being denied our freedom to choose.
There are health concerns associated with tons of items on general sale – eggs, paté, soft cheese, tinned fish etc. These products are used daily in restaurants without any threats of closure. Peanuts can kill people with nut allergies yet they are freely available in shops, pubs and restaurants. In our supermarkets there are aisles packed with high calorie fizzy drinks that are laden with corn syrup and sugar whose hidden calories lead to obesity. But are they banned? Yet obesity and diabetes are two diseases that are on the increase in Ireland.
I have no axe to grind here. I don’t know anyone involved in JoBurger. I am simply tired of the Nanny State telling me what’s bad for me. I am old enough to make my own decisions and to take the resultant consequences.
This rant was triggered by the Irish Times article referred to above.