DANVILLE, VA - Djene Pasquezanala says no one told him that if you don't wash your hands after using the bathroom, it's a recipe for disaster. Now, his employer will be forced to eat the cost of 300,000 cases of their popular Toll Booth Cookies while forking out the dough for a massive recall.
"This E. coli thing just makes me sick," says the Toll Booth Cookie Company owner, referring to the bacteria that caused the recall. "I've had to temporarily lay off more than 200 people. With the unemployment rate in Danville already over 14%, we understand the loss of these jobs is crucial."
True, but that is the least of his problems. In addition to a halt in production and a costly recall, several potentially more expensive legal hurdles loom on the horizon for the embattled company.
Four people who suffered kidney failure, after eating uncooked Toll Booth cookie dough while half-baked themselves, have filed suit against the company on the grounds that the product's packaging does not mention the dangers of eating the dough raw. Three others are suing Toll Booth for not providing adequate sanitation training to its employees.
Pasquezanala is suing for posting hand washing signs in the bathrooms with instructions in several languages, but not his own native tongue.
When Toll Booth subsequently attempted to fire Pasquezanala, Immigration Services cited the cookie maker for "providing employment opportunities to persons not in possession of proper documentation" as reason for disallowing his dismissal.
Most experts agree that, whatever the outcome of these impending court battles, no matter how many signs are posted in how many languages in how many bathrooms, despite millions of properly documented employees dismayed at the prospect of having to watch another boring video on how to wash one's hands properly, despite all these precautions and more, someone, somewhere, is not going to wash his or her hands before returning to work.
And that's just the way the cookie crumbles.