11/09/2011 07:55 EST | Updated 01/09/2012 05:12 EST

McDonald's Poppy Ban: Company Says It's For Safety


LETHBRIDGE, Alta. - Some employees at a McDonald's in southern Alberta aren't loving that they can't wear poppies.

Employees at one of the fast-food giant's restaurants in Lethbridge were told that wearing poppies for Remembrance Day while working is banned.

McDonald's Canada said in a statement that employees who work behind the counter are not allowed to wear traditional poppies because "straight pins pose a potential serious safety hazard in food preparation areas of our restaurants."

Alberta Health Services spokesman James Frey said there is no specific legislation that bans the use of pins while working in restaurants.

He also says there is no law on whether food handlers can wear poppies, and Frey says the agency does not inspect or enforce poppy policies in restaurants.

Some other fast-food restaurants canvassed in Lethbridge say they do allow employees to wear poppies with backs on the pins.

"We encourage all our employees to wear poppies on their outerwear as their way of saluting the efforts of our veterans and our forces currently in action," McDonald's said in the statement.

"McDonald's commitment to the Royal Canadian Legion and our men and women in uniform is unwavering and we will continue to support them in every way possible.

"That's why we partner each year with the Royal Canadian Legion to welcome veterans and volunteers into our restaurants to sell poppies and spread the spirit of gratefulness all Canadians have for our veterans."


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