Does this muffin seem a little soggy to you?

Margalit reports how the Panera Bread where her daughter works requires workers to come in even if they are sick with an airborne, communicable virus, if they can't find somebody to cover their shifts.

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If the story is true...

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...(and it sounds plausible)... looks like at least one "bakery cafe" management position will become available sometime next week.

Whoever gets the job, run down your food safety checklist every day, since some inspectional people will probably wonder what other stupid things have been done at that location.

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How disgusting, arrogant and irresponsible.

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How disgusting, arrogant and irresponsible can Panera Breads (or any other company) get? Seriously, making people who're seriously ill serve food to the public is not only a public health issue, which is dangerous for everybody, including the sick worker(s), but, if the right inspector(s) came in, the place could get shut down.

Hope the girl feels better soon. It's appalling that she was made to work while ill. To quote the famous mid-1960's song: "No one knows what goes on behind closed doors".

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behind closed doors?

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um, in think that song is about getting some nookie from your lady, not about dirty little secrets in chain cafes...

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There are different ways to interpret that song, zbert.

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I've always interpreted that particular song that I quoted from as being about dirty little secrets in general. Therefore, imho, there's no reason why this:

dirty little secrets in chain cafes...

couldn't be included.

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i guess

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but the bread bowl at that place has never made me glad that i'm a man...

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Same goes for almost every

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Same goes for almost every starbucks in the city. It's not a written policy, it's just standard practice for every fast food place.

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Its a pretty "standard"

Its a pretty "standard" method for places that depend on student and under 25 year old labor. Its not really right but it makes life easier for the management so they just do it anyway.

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Panera Bread is disgusting

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I once e-mailed headquarters to ask why I couldn't have onions removed from my sandwich and they responded saying all their sandwiches arrive pre-made and couldn't be altered. Isn't that gross? I mean, at least the could've lied about it.

Add that to their horribly unhealthy ingredients (trans fats and hydrogenated oils up the yin yang) and you can cross them off your list of fast food places.

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Anybody with a Yelp Account?

The Coolidge Corner Panera is not exactly well loved by patrons on Yelp as it is - perhaps somebody should post a New Flu Review linking to this mess?

Are there other sites where such "know before you go" reviews could be posted and linked to Margalit's blog?

Other than that, I'm kind of wondering why The Girl is working such long shifts at 16, unless that is just a vacation week schedule. Massachusetts hour and task limits for teen workers under 18

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This rule is pretty much

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This rule is pretty much never ever enforced, at least in my experience. I've had a job constantly from age 13 to 21 (now). I was working 20-30 hours during school from age 16 to graduation.
Though at least these places had the decency to make me stay home when I was a germ threat!

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It seems to me that the labor laws regarding teenaged workers

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It seems that the labor laws regarding teenaged workers could use a bit of revising. With all the things that they say teens under 16 years old can't do, such as using power tools, etc., maybe the age should be raised to seventeen or eighteen. Sixteen and seventeen-year-olds are still minors.

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They are minors, but

They are minors, but certainly old enough to work. In fact I think its a great growing experience, and is essentialy for some kids if they want to keep up with their more well off peers in regards to activities school related and otherwise.

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Therein lies the rub, ShadyMilkMan.

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It's not necessarily and always so great to have kids under 18 doing stuff that're more appropriate for adults, given the fact that their judgement is not yet formed, and they're even more likely to make errors that result in injury or possibly death. This is not to say that adults don't make errors that result in injury or death, but minors are often much susceptible to making such errors.

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Well...

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For starters, kids already get drafted into the Army at 18.

18's old enough to vote.

Plenty of people get married at 18.

Regarding the driving age, from what I understand, most, if not all of the European countries have a driving age of 18. There was talk of raising the driving age to 17 and a half, which is not much different than 18, in order to cut down on the number of fatalities, which would've been a good idea, but that got struck down. I think they should just keep trying, though. Sixteen or seventeen are good ages for learner's permits, but I think that 17 1/2 to 18 years of age is fine for a driver's license. Sixteen and a half, imho, is still too young.

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So what you're saying is ...

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Some things that involve the potential for death for teens is OK (joining the Army) but others (serving muffies at Panera Bread) are not?

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Adam, my point is that

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since a sixteen or seventeen year old kid is too young to be drafted into the military, then they're too young to be using power tools that're appropriate for adults, and too young to get a driver's license. Simply serving food to the public has nothing to do with my point.

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I disagree, at least a 16

I disagree, at least a 16 year old is learning while , hopefully, under the guidance of their parents. I think we have already tossed too many things into the 18 year old category, so there is a bit of an overload when you turn 18 and you get everything (except drinking legally) at the same time. I think by 16 you have developed a sense of the world and should have more rights to do things, in fact I think they should even be able to vote. One of the reasons why teens are "stupid" is because they dont have experience, how do they get experience if they can not do things like work and drive? Especially for those kids from lower income families who live in more rural areas. If they cant work AND cant drive and their parents work weird hours and can not afford to give them cash everytime they need it to do anything what are these 17 year olds going to do? Without the ability to do any of those things they are are now trapped with no ability to move around and no income to do anything of value (including things like the prom.) Its essentially condemming them to life on the outskirts.

Plus I think every person should have had experience working in the service industry early in their lives. Its good for character and gives you something to think of when your sick of going to class (dont want to go back to being a server do you), AND it is good to know how hard life can be back there. Theres nothing worse then standing in line with a coworker you know had never worked in that situation and witnessing them insult the person behind the counter "How hard can it be?" The answer is, it can be very hard.

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I disagree with you here, ShadyMilkMan.

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A sixteen-year-old is still a minor, and there are certain things, such as voting, drinking, using power tools that're appropriate for only adults, and getting a driver's license, for example, that a sixteen-year-old is better off waiting to do until s/he is somewhat older and more mature.

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No power tools at 16?

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I was using power tools when I was a wee lad, and I've still got all my appendages.

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Oh really?

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Been using power tools without supervision since around age 10, I mean truly, what 16 year old will dismember theirself with a cordless drill?

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Yeah

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I had unsupervised use of a variety of power tools, including several powered hand saws and a table saw, as a kid.

I was taught to be responsible and cautious, and there were no power tool injuries. I hit my thumb once with a hammer, and I gave myself a big cut on the side of the foot with a shovel, but that's all I recall, and everything healed fully.

I would worry too much to let my own kids use all those tools quite so early, but I'd have them using a power saw before they'd be using a much more deadly car.

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This is pretty much one of

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This is pretty much one of the more disgusting things I've read. I don't think I'll be eating at Panera again, if that's their policy.

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Ditto!

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Me neither!

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People show up to work sick

People show up to work sick in your favorite restaurants all the time. Are you going to stop eating out?

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People can be feeling unwell

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People can be feeling unwell but not carrying a communicable illness, or be well enough that they can contain their snot and not pass germs onto the food. It's up to management to make sure that people too ill to work stay home. This particular Panera is showing a blatant disregard for the health of its customers or its employees.

If I saw someone that sick handling food at one of my favorite restaurants, I would leave and report them.

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I don't know about that, NotWhitey.

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People who work in restaurants aren't supposed to show up for work if they're sick, and, hopefully, the managers of most restaurants are sensible enough and responsible enough to implement and enforce such a policy. Any restaurant manager(s) who don't implement and enforce a "don't come to work sick" policy is totally irresponsible and inconsiderate and doesn't belong a restaurant manager. This hasn't happened yet, but I sure would not want to be served by someone who's got a cold, a stomach catarrah, or who'd just sneezed or coughed into my food.

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although Im no fan of Panera

(especially the onions!), doesn't this story sound a little fishy? Almost has a tone of someone that has something personal against the company or managers at the store...

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doesn't this story sound a

doesn't this story sound a little fishy? Almost has a tone of someone that has something personal against the company or managers at the store...

It must be true... it's on the Internet!

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I thought part of a manager's job was to keep the place running

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... rather than have their teen employees do so, especially those who call in sick. I'm not sure if the girl involved is an assistant manager or not, but she should be allowed to get better and not worry about staffing a shift.

With regard to the last post, I think if someone treated my daughter that way, I would, indeed, have something personal against the company or managers.

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Well said, anon!

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Good point.

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