In a development that will surely not enhance Prince-Arthur's tenuous culinary bona fides, tartare from Marché 27 has sent seven customers to the hospital with E. coli. One patient is in critical condition.
Partner Jason Masso spoke to the media yesterday in the wake of the controversy.
It's not necessarily my fault, but I am to blame. They came to eat at my restaurant, and it's something I take to heart.
The restaurateur behind Marché 27 - "the only tartare bar in the world" - came up at the likes of Rosalie and Buonanotte and, with brother Steven, runs MASSMNGMNT corp. - a company that "works to maintain the quality and service in which the company was founded; having the perfect balance between exceptional operations and strong performance."
While Masso is adamant that Marché 27 is not to blame for the E. coli contamination, the other party in the mix, Viandes Décarie (motto: "Food Safety a Priority") gave a strong statement of non-culpability.
Two investigations conducted jointly by the CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) and the MAPAQ (the agriculture, fisheries and food ministry of Quebec) have led to the conclusion that, based on analysis performed to date, our company is not involved in any way in the cases described and is therefore not held liable in this matter.
Viandes Décarie is a division of Colabor, a massive food wholesaler and distributor with over 600 suppliers which, "thanks to strong purchasing power, offers products at attractive price points."
This is not Colabor's first brush with E. coli infamy. From a Food Safety News report, this past November 19:
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has announced the recall of two varieties of Viandes Lauzon beef products because of possible E. coli contamination. The products are Viandes Lauzon Lean Ground Beef and Viandes Lauzon Extra Lean Ground Beef. The Canadian food-safety regulator said that the recall was made by the products' Quebec-based distributor, Groupe Colabor.
For her part, Danielle Ramsay, a co-ordinator for toxic food infections at the Ministry of Agriculture, says that this is the first case of tartare E. coli contamination that she has seen in over a decade on the job.
With all that, watch Marché 27 owner Jason Masso make duck tartare for ex-Olympic diver Alexandre Despatie.
Jason Masso Makes Duck Tartare
· Seven People Sick With E. coli From Montreal Restaurant [CJAD]
· E. coli Poisoning Leaves 7 Sick After Eating at Marché 27 [CBC]
· Marché 27 [Official Site]