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posted August 12, 2005 from the August Newsletter


In the third week of July we got an alarming message from '''Public Health''': “The rolling of dough and adding of toppings should all be done inside, near the kitchen. The uncooked pizza then should be taken out to the oven only, and then returned inside the building before being cut. Please ensure that all staff are adhering to this procedure.”

We sent back a message: “People ONLY make their own pizzas. No one touches someone else's pizza. Therefore this is the same as people making their own picnic food, and nothing is transmitted except people's own germs to themselves.

"It's true that park staff prepare the dough and have cheese and tomato sauce on hand. The dough is prepared in a professional mixer in our inspected kitchen and used within a few minutes of being brought outside (it is kept covered during those few minutes). The  commercially pre-grated cheese is taken straight from the fridge into a cooler, then put out in small amounts (bowl and spoon) that is used within (maximum) five minutes of being set out. The commercially made sauce is taken from a refrigerated container into a cooler and then set out in the same way, with the same time lines. Other ingredients are either brought by the picnickers themselves or picked fresh out of the park gardens (e.g. basil).

“The pizzas go from the wooden peel into the oven where they are baked until done, at a temperature of around 700 degrees (or more).”

We said that we feel that pizza days are safe. Lo and behold, '''Ben Heywood''', the local public health inspector, came and checked us out and said he agreed with us, and we could keep on making pizza outside as before. A small triumph for common sense!

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