Florida Hospital ends bacon ban with opening of Panera Bread

Jan. 7, 2014 at 2:25 PM

ORLANDO, Fla., Jan. 7 (UPI) -- An official with Florida Hospital in Orlando said the facility's thinking on bacon has "evolved" to allow an eatery on restaurant property to serve it.

Florida Hospital, run by Adventist Health System, has banned a Wendy's restaurant on hospital property from serving bacon for more than a decade due to religious reasons, but a Panera Bread restaurant opened on the hospital's property across from the Wendy's is being allowed to serve bacon and other pork products, the Orlando Sentinel reported Tuesday.

David Banks, senior executive for the campus, said the hospital's thinking on bacon has "evolved."

"Those are two decisions separated probably by about 20 years," he said. "We really wrestled with the issue."

"We deeply believe in the things we believe in," he said of Seventh-day Adventists, whose beliefs include the Old Testament's banning of pork and shellfish.

However, he said "we also want people to have choice."

"While it's an important part of the Adventist subculture, it's not the thing we want to be known for... It's a little bit of a shift in thinking," he said.

Banks said the bacon ban at Wendy's may be revisited when the eatery next seeks to renew its lease.

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