George’s situation of finding maggots stuck in the pipes where the milkshake mix was being run is a tough situation to be in. Even though Paul is telling George that everything will be okay if they remove the pipe filters and allow the maggots to be ground up into the mix, that action is not ethical. Consumers deserve better than for workers to knowingly permit maggots to stay in a milkshake mix. While maggots do not usually cause physical harm to people who may ingest them accidentally, it is still unethical to allow tainted food to be sent to more ice cream distributors. Some people could get sick.
The FDA would not approve of such an action, which is why George needs to alert management to the problem right away. The fact that there are so many maggots in the joints are spewing out the mix is a big problem. However, an even bigger problem is Paul’s way of handling the situation. Paul is too concerned about ending his shift on time and making sure that the 500 gallons of the milkshake mix are processed before the next shift gets there. Losing money should not be the main priority .

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I would have told management about the maggot issue. I could not live with myself if I knew that that many maggots were in the milkshake mix. I care about people and their health and would not want kids to drink these milkshakes. If I were the manager of the company, I would make sure that things were conducted differently in the back lot where the milkshake ingredients are stored. Since maggots get into the bags of certain ingredients that are stored in the warehouse in the back of the lot, this is where the problem seems to be starting and where the problem needs to be fixed .

Maggots, which are the larvae that comes from eggs that flies have laid, tend to appear in old food. Therefore, making sure that the ingredients to make ice cream are discarded by its expiration date can prevent these maggots from forming. Expiration dates need to be put on all the bags of ingredients. Using airtight containers and making sure that the temperature is cold is another way to prevent maggots from forming. Since maggots also tend to form on places that are not clean, such as garbage cans and dirty floors, cleaning the warehouse lot frequently can discourage flies from laying eggs in that area. One to two employees need to be assigned to the warehouse every day to ensure that all precautions are taken and that it is clean.

Besides the mistake of not strong ingredients properly, Eastern Dairy is making many errors. Lack of paid management on the night shift sets up problems. Since Paul is the guy in charge, but is not getting paid any extra money as a supervisor, he is not going to care enough to solve problems and correct emergencies such as the maggot issue. The union is also not involved. This hands-off attitude is the springboard for problems. Many of the workers seem young and immature. Food fights where milkshake mix is thrown at each other and 10 to 40 gallons of mix is wasted fuels the maggot issue. Stray milkshake mix can attract flies and ultimately more maggots. A manager needs to be on duty to ensure that the workers are doing their job and that food and safety issues are followed.

As you can see, the ethical thing to do is for George to tell his managers about the maggot issue. Consumers deserve to be protected and to eat safe food.

  • Cousins, Roland B and Linda E Benitz. “Does This Milkshake Taste Funny?” Case Research Journal, 1998, pp. 151-154.