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Dog Gone: Florida Health Dept. Tosses Cody Onto The Unemployment Line
By Britney Hermiz :: Friday, December 11, 2009 :: 35307 Views :: Health & Fitness, Business & Finance, Government & Society

Florida, USA - If you ask the Clearwater BP gas station owner Karim Mansour, he will say they had a bone to pick with Cody and they won.  Florida’s health department inspector says the dog will no longer be able to join his owner to work. 

“Successful Chaldean business owners are known to fight for their employees.  It is perhaps one of the biggest reasons as to why they are successful.  You treat your workers great, they are loyal and work hard to make the business a success,” says Angela Yousif, a member of Clearwater areas Chamber of Commerce. 

Mansour, received a warning from the Florida Department of Health on Thursday, informing him that Cody would have to go or all of the store's food - mostly bottled soda, candy and other snacks - would be declared unfit for consumption.

Cody became quite famous at the Clearwater BP station as returning customers often greeted the friendly hound, wearing a BP logo shirt and name tag.  The chocolate Labrador retriever would often draw grins from customers when he greeted them at the drive-thru window.

Although Mansour says there's no way dog hair could get into the sealed packages of food, he'll leave his 6-year-old dog at home in the future.  Mansour, adopted the 6-year-old Cody three years ago and like many of his customers is saddened to see him forced out.

“I had no choice but to sign the warning,” says Manousr. His primary violation: "prohibited animals present in a food establishment."

Customers are disappointed at the move, with some calling for Cody to return.  "People in the store hearing what was going on kind of made a little protest," Mansour said.  Protestors commented that the move was ridiculous since all the food is pre-packaged and air sealed.  

Mansour said that in November, his usual health inspector stopped by and gave the dog a pass since Mansour's store only serves prepackaged food. After Cody’s fame began to grow, the health inspector's supervisor visited and laid down the law.

www.CHALDEAN.org researched the law and according to the federal Food & Drug Administration's food code, live animals may be allowed in stores in certain situations, provided that food contamination cannot result. One such circumstance: "In areas that are not used for food preparation, storage, sales, display, or dining, in which there are caged animals or animals that are similarly confined."

Mansour, upon learning about the FDA food code is now considering what steps he can take to give Cody back his job. 

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