ICYMI: Government urges against panic buying, restaurant closures amid COVID-19, NHL event staff cuts and more

Here are five stories you may have missed this past week

As expected and rightfully so, the news has been dominated by updates to the COVID-19 situation around the globe. This past week, the labelled of the coronavirus as a pandemic sent the public into a grocery shopping panic and restaurants are temporarily closing in support of social distancing and public health. In Edmonton, The Edison Food Bank was robbed, and is currently urging for donations in the time of need. Even those with food need to be careful. Ecoideas Innovation Inc. is recalling multiple cake and pancake mixes and Sobeys is recalling its Asian vegetable mix due to possible salmonella contamination. 

Coronavirus classification as pandemic sends public into panic buying 

This week, only in a matter of hours, panic over the coronavirus rose as the World Health Organization classified the coronavirus as a pandemic, sending shoppers around the world to clear out grocery stores of essentials, from toilet paper and cleaning supplies to pasta and canned goods. Despite empty shelves across the country, experts are reassuring the public that the food shortages are unlikely, with Health Minister Christine Elliott and Agriculture Minister Ernie Hardeman saying in a joint statement that, “Rest assured, we have plenty of food that will continue to reach grocery stores on a regular basis.” 

Read about the message from the Ontario government and what experts are saying about the food supply from Global News.


Temporary restaurant closures amid social distancing


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As health officials urge the public to practice social distancing, avoiding large crowds and gatherings, restaurants are getting hit hard. Multiple restaurants, including Montreal's Maison Publique and Toronto's Edulis, have decided to close until further notice in an effort to help "flatten the curve" and to protect patrons and staff.

Read about the impact on the restaurant industry from this Calgary Herald article, learn how you can support local restaurants from this Forbes story. 

Event staff cut during NHL season suspension

In addition to independent businesses in the food industry, those working for major sports teams and venues across the country are also feeling the pinch. The Calgary Flames will not be paying part-time, hourly, and event staff during the suspension of the NHL season, and the Edmonton Oilers, Toronto Maple Leafs and Vancouver Canucks announced that they will be offering assistance to event staff.

Read about decisions from various NHL teams from this TSN story.

Edmonton food bank robbed over the weekend

Those reliant on the food bank in Edmonton have been further impacted by the coronavirus, as the Edson Food Bank was robbed some time between last Friday evening and Saturday morning. Ground beef and other food items were stolen. Donations are especially welcomed at this time.

Read more about this from CTV.



Recalls for Ecoideas cake mixes and Sobeys vegetable mix

If you are thinking about doing more cooking and baking at home now that you may be staying in more, you better check the ingredients on hand. Sobeys is recalling its Asian vegetable mix and Ecoideas Innovation Inc. is recalling its chocolate cake mix, brown rice pancake mix and buckwheat pancake mix, both recalls due to possible salmonella contamination.

Read about the cake mix recall from Food Safety News and Sobeys vegetable mix recall from CTV.