Safety group wraps up study of donairs
Donairs, a popular late-night snack in Halifax, are coming under new safety guidelines this summer.
A federal safety committee studying donair preparation across Canada has come up with several recommendations for the shawarma-like fast food, including that the meat be cooked twice.
"Essentially, we really wanted to identify what the risks were with the product and put in place strategies to deal with those risks," said Mike Horwich, Nova Scotia's director of food preparation and a member of the federal committee.
The committee struck a working group to look at donairs after a series of E. coli outbreaks in Alberta two years ago. The incidents were linked to undercooked meat.
Donair cooks in Nova Scotia offered a lot of advice, Horwich said.
"There was a significant amount of interest by our industry and it was solicited and unsolicited," he said. "Nova Scotia is the home of the donair."
The committee recommends that only inspected meat be used for donairs, and that it's cooked once on a rotisserie and once on a grill.
Donair shops are also supposed to use large rotisseries designed to cook big loaves of meat. And if the meat isn't all sold at the end of the day, it's to be cut into smaller pieces so it freezes quickly and bacteria can't grow in the middle.
Horwich expects the new rules will be adopted in Nova Scotia later this summer and hopes other provinces follow suit.
Donairs are a Halifax-born version of the Turkish doner kebab, a dish made from meat sliced off of a vertical spit.