President Obama and veep Joe Biden strolled over to Arlington for lunch at Ray's Hell-Burger today. It's likely their staffs didn't vet the place, given its latest restaurant inspection report by the Arlington Health District (listed under "Butcher Burger" which is apparently the true name of the joint).
Among the violations listed in the most recent inspection (dated Dec. 18, 2008):
1. Insect, rodent, and/or other pest harborage conditions exist on the premises [mouse droppings were observed on the floor of the storage room].
2. CRITICAL: The food establishment serves hamburgers [cooked-to-order] undercooked without informing consumers of the significantly increased risk consuming such food by way of a disclosure and reminder using brochures, deli case or menu advisories, label statements, table tents, placards, or other effective written means.
So we have the President of the United States and the Vice President tagging along for a meal at an establishment where mouse droppings were seen during the latest inspection, and the joint serves up hamburgers that are "undercooked without informing consumers of the...risk."
Well, I have to wonder if any employees at Ray's informed Obama, Biden or their security details about any of this. Have the problems been corrected or not? I would have wanted to know. And I wouldn't knowingly eat at a place with a report like that.
We'll have to watch Obama and Biden carefully over the next several days to see if they suffer any ill effects. Is it wise for people in important positions to just go and eat anywhere without checking? What else are they doing without proper forethought? Rhetorical question, of course.