The following story has been all over the news:
Restaurant owner criticized for breastfeeding while working
1 day ago
Several diners at Rocco’s Ristorante Italiano were disgusted after having to watch the owner’s kid have his own dinner. Hannah Gibson was breastfeeding her eight-month-old son, Carson, while she cleared tables at the Nova Scotia restaurant. After the Department of Health received letters of complaint they began an investigation, telling Gibson “Maybe [they] thought milk could get in the food.” (Well, that pretty much ruins Alfredo sauce for us.) The food safety officer suggested that she keep her baby and her boobs away from the Bolognese, breastfeeding away from the customers; Gibson says that—despite the “embarrassing” investigation she’ll keep bringing Carson to the restaurant. [Source]
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Now I don’t know what your thoughts are on this matter, but here are mine. First and foremost, to provide a great customer experience, you must provide a comfortable dining atmosphere. I think most people are a bit uncomfortable being exposed to someone breastfeeding. I know I am. From my past experience, a lot of these breastfeeding mothers are not discreet. I’ve had women whip out their bosom and start breastfeeding while I was conducting interviews with them. Very uncomfortable.
As to this restaurant owner’s particular situation, yes I think it’s unsanitary. Not only for the customer but also for the baby. Mom is clearing dirty plates, glasses and silverware from the tables. She doesn’t know what potential communicable diseases have been spread around the table. People sneeze and blow their noses all the time spreading God knows what. Mom probably isn’t putting the baby down to wash her hands in between tables. So not only is she exposing the infant to germs but she is potentially infecting patrons when she resets the tables with “clean” ware. Think about it.