Flash Back Fridays

Don’t Eat the Syrup!

Many years ago, I was having an early breakfast as usual. That week we had a group of Elderhostel attending courses at the Lodge. When I came to my table that morning with my pancakes and got a whiff of the syrup, I realized that it was not maple syrup  it was engine oil. So, how the hell did this engine oil get in the syrup jars on the kitchen tables?
This is why it happened:

During that year the power generating unit used a lot of oil on a daily basis. As a result, it was not uncommon to see jars of oil in front of the generator shack. That shack was 20 feet away from the kitchen entrance. The entrance to the generator shed was the same as the one to the food prep room for “out trips”; they shared the same building. At that time, the mechanics used empty jugs of pancake syrup to carry the oil for adding to the generator when it got below operating levels. I guess now you are about to see where I am going with this story.

0600h Mechanic uses oil to add to generator.

0625h Mechanic leaves unused oil in “syrup” container outside generator shed.

0629h Someone goes by “food prep area” and sees the syrup container.

0631h Syrup container is brought to pantry for storage and future use.

0645h Kitchen staff grabs syrup jug for up coming breakfast and pours it into small containers to be placed on all the tables.

0701h Staff goes through the food line and settles at their tables to start eating.

0702h I smell the syrup and it does not appear to be what it is supposed to be. I dip my finger into it.

0702:20 I realize that I am looking at a jug of engine oil. I got on my feet and screamed at the top of my lungs, “Do not eat this food”.

After I explained to the breakfast staff what was going on all of the ‘syrup’ was removed and replaced with some that was edible. That day, the early bird did not get the worm; it actually prevented all of our customers from getting sick.