By Gloria Hong
Oh cronut burger. You promised to be the most exciting bite at the CNE. And you were, for different reasons.
I posted my experience with the cronut burger on yesterday’s blog Let’s go to the Ex….and Eat! Part 2.
Since then, 34 people are reported to have fallen ill with food poisoning and 5 taken to hospital after eating food at the Ex. Immediately, people pointed fingers at the much hyped and celebrated cronut burger. Every media outlet excitedly reported on this sensational creation as the headline food of the Ex. On the day that people fell ill, Epic Burger documented the line up to get the burger was 100 people long.
Sentiment went from went from “Brrrrrap!”…
to “I’m siiiiiiiick”.
Reactions to the reported illness’ ranged from skeptical…
to “I told you so”.
So how did the cronut burger go from yesterday’s hero to today’s villain?
1) Well, it looks like they made people sick. While taste is king, food safety is a given. If in fact it was the cronut burger that did make people sick, they broke the cardinal rule of food service and lost all trust and credibility.
2) It was never really great to begin with. As a novelty, the cronut burger was fun to talk about. Eating one might have been a story you bragged about. It is easy to vilify because it took all the glory and hype around it, but did not stand up as delicious as a burger.
Also, the CNE’s kneejerk reaction to ask media to leave after the story broke was not the right thing to do. Food journalists felt slighted, and rightly so.
So what’s next? Epic Burger was happy to be in media publications before the Ex started and soaked up the hype. They published photos of their busy booth with enthusiasm. But after the food poisoning story broke, they have remained silent on their Twitter. They need to do the right thing and step up and speak out. They never set out to make anyone sick. And we still don’t know if it really was the cronut burger that caused the food poisoning. But publicly showing the concern I know that they are feeling would go a long way to rebuild their credibility.
Thank you again for voting on the cronut burger for my CNE food experience. It’s one I’ll never forget! If you want to see the video – donate to my “Light the Night” page here and I’ll send you the link with password.