Saint John — Last week longtime Saint John City Market tenant Jeremiah’s Deli was closed down by Public Health officials after they found mouse poop in the food preparation area. And now a local restaurant advocate is calling for lesser penalties and more leniency in order to make it easier for eateries in Saint John to remain open.
“Come on!” cried Luc Erjavec from Restaurants Canada. “It’s Saint John we’re talking about — it’s probably still one of the cleanest places in the city by far. And it’s only mouse poop; I think it would be quite easy to make the argument that mouse poop is actually a big part of the city’s identity and culture, so the restaurant is basically just supporting that theme.”
The Manatee found mixed reactions from the Greater Saint John area. Some residents were surprised and disappointed that the deli was forced to close its doors, but others adamantly declared there is no room for poop in the same place you eat.
“I think it’s a big scam that’s being funded by McDonald’s and Burger King,” said Pam Grieftree, from the city’s West Side. “I used to love going to that deli and didn’t mind the mouse poop at all — it was nicer than the human poop I’m used to seeing around downtown. It was probably just those snobs up in Rothesay complaining about it — they think they’re too good for a little poop here and there.”
Our reporter caught up with a Rothesay snob who confirmed that he does in fact consider himself to be “too good for a little poop here and there.”
“Is this a real question?” asked Matthew Vienneau. “Of course I’m too good for that, we should all be too good for that — it’s poop.”
Erjavec defended his assertions by saying there is a great lack of consistency in the methods used for inspections and the expectations are different from region to region.
“Places like Fredericton and Saint John are very different in that respect,” he continued. “Of course in Fredericton they have a very low tolerance for poop near their food and we should govern accordingly. But Saint John? I think we can afford to be a little more flexible on what our regulations are there. Maybe we implement some sort of poop-to-people-wearing-Alpine-shirts ratio, or something like that?”
For now, Jeremiah’s remains closed, and many Saint Johners think that that ruling is a bunch of mouse poop.