Amid what's being called the biggest beef recall in Canadian history, Toronto butchers and restaurateurs say consumers are asking more questions about their meat than ever before.
Theodore Laganas, who has spent 25 years behind the meat counter at Ellas Meat Market in Greek Town, said "at least every other customer" has been asking him whether his products are safe to consume.
Laganas assures his ground beef is Ontario-raised, though some other beef products come from Alberta's XL Foods — the company at the centre of the E. coli contamination that has prompted a recall extending across Canada of more than 1,500 products. The recall has also affected 40 U.S. states and Puerto Rico.
At the Burger's Priest restaurant, general manager Steven Greene said there are no concerns about E. coli contamination because of the cooking and prep standards at the eatery.
"We grind fresh in-house every day. No patty is ever more than an hour old, and our grinding process follows high standards, and so does our sanitation process," Greene said.
"Transparency is becoming more and more popular in fast food, and customers get that from us."