by Monte Sahlin
By AT News Team, January 8, 2014
Florida Hospital, the flagship institution of the Adventist Health System (AHS), has agreed to allow a Panera Bread restaurant being opened on hospital property to include bacon on its menu. That is a change in policy, reports United Press International (UPI) in its "Odd News" category.
For more than a decade, a Wendy's restaurant on hospital property has not been permitted to serve pork products. The hospital maintained this policy "due to religious reasons," according to the UPI report. AHS is affiliated with the Seventh-day Adventist Church which teaches its members to observe the Old Testament prohibition of "unclean" meat from Leviticus 11, in part due to the extension of the concept to Christians in Acts 15:29.
The UPI story quotes David Banks, identified as senior executive for the Florida Hospital campus in Orlando, that the hospital's thinking on the issue has "evolved" over time. "We really wrestled with the issue," he said. "Those are two decisions separated probably by 20 years." He indicated that the situation with Wendy's may be reviewed.
Pointing out the difference between the beliefs of church members and the use of property rented by an outside organization, Banks continued; "We deeply believe in the things we believe in. However, we also want people to have choice. While it is an important part of the Adventist subculture, it's not the main thing we want to be known for."