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  1. #1
    Senior Member Snicklefritz's Avatar
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    Why I don't like eating out, and am selective when I do...

    I was in Starbucks not too long ago and while waiting for my drink, a young guy from the neighboring TJI Friday's walks in. He's wearing TJIF garb and is obviously a worker there. While he was waiting in line, he stuck his hands down the back of his pants and proceeds to scratch himself. YUCK!! I hope he isn't preparing or serving food.

    Another experience I had was going to what looked like an upscale restaurant, using the restroom and finding that someone had the runs earlier in the day and it had dried up. GROSS!!!!!!

    I also don't eat at peoples' houses either unless I know them really well. Once had dinner at someone's house who apparently let their cats climb on the kitchen counters. I can't explain any other way that cat hair could get in the food.

    Why can't people be a bit more careful??

  2. #2
    Pentapointed Member ahsposo's Avatar
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    Obviously, they like giving you the heebie-jeebies.

    Some enlightened people find cat hair precious.
    Quote Originally Posted by toddles View Post
    If I gotta look up words, it's not worth my time.

  3. #3
    Senior Member RPK79's Avatar
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    Cat hair gets everywhere.

    Love TGI Friday's.

  4. #4
    Speed is Life... UnfilteredDregs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RPK79 View Post
    Cat hair gets everywhere.

    Love TGI Friday's.
    Considering all the crap you can't see that'll nail you... I really don't concern myself with the more tangible. cats always get on counters...no excuse for the gnarly dude in Starbucks though!
    Poetically vacant... -U.D.

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    Senior Member Cache's Avatar
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    TJIF? Thank Jesus It's Friday?? Does that mean we curse him the rest of the week... Jesus Christ. I think I'll eat at home. With my cats.

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    Been working in restaurants for some six years, a full spectrum of quality however no chains/corporate restaurants. I also worked in a retirement village (corporate kitchen institutional kitchen.


    The people who disrespect the food don't last long. Be it at one establishment or in that field of work.
    That doesn't mean you can be respectful of the food, and of the duties and completely free from ignorance. Generally, everyone wants, and intends to do a good job in near all aspects of work.


    "We judge others by their behavior. We judge ourselves by our intentions."

    --Ian Percy



    In my state, all food workers are required to be serv-safe certificate holders. When this came to be the law, the restaurant/hotel I was working for had an instructor come in, teach the lot of us, and give us our certificates. The course was nothing new, and only provided a few pieces of information that were not already covered in previous incarnations of similar state regulations (food handlers card course), for example the "food danger zone" was increased by two degrees, one on either end of the spectrum. Some attention was given to proper procedures, such as only allowing the gloved hand to touch food ready to eat. The course was better than nothing.


    I've been serv-safe certificate holder for some time, and not once have I been asked to show it. Furthermore, MANY colleagues are not certificate holders. Prior to serv-safe requisite, only a food handlers card and a TB test were required. The card could be most easily gotten by taking a computer test over the internet. The test was maybe ten questions, and required I think 70% correct to pass. Failure meant you were free to re-take. Passing meant you could go down to the county health office with 15 dollars and get your card. I don't believe the test was offered in any language other than English. Also. The multiple choice questions we're ridiculously easy. "At what temperature should your refrigerator hold food? A) 212 degrees B) -212 degrees C) 425 degrees D) 37 degrees" may not be exactly what was asked, but gives you a good idea of the ease of all ten questions.


    The worst I've seen is just carelessness in cleaning. Often restaurants will have refrigerated drawers on the hot food production line and these will get the prepared items to be cooked, be it veg or meat/poultry/fish. I have worked with one single cook who would clean these refrigerators. The rest of the cooks either flat out wouldn't, or would as they saw fit, I adequately. I recall the "senior" cook at a four diamond AAA awarded restaurant was working with me on the scheduled deep cleaning night we had every week. He had "finished" and went out to smoke. I knew his station was not suitably attended too and after finishing my side gave his a little attention. I removed the refrigerated drawers just to wipe out the cooler. If done once a week, little or no accumulation of crud is present. I found a great deal of mold ON TOP of the cooler, that is the ceiling of the box. Also. I found a desiccated and molded sausage in the bottom, from over 8 months ago. I could tell its age because it was easily identifiable by its red color (sodium nitrite/nitrate preserves red color in processed meats and it does this well) as a boar sausage from the seasonal menu that only lasted maybe six weeks, and had been long since past.

    I think a lot or it stems from tradition: "This is how I've always done it" or "This is how the guy before me did it" etc. One good example was a breakfast/lunch chef who would always leave the prepared waffle batter out on the counter for service (that is during business hours). The batter contained shell eggs, and was definitely spoil able. He would do this every day, until it was used up. Talking as much as 10-16 hours of time not refrigerated. That is the way it was always done.


    I was told a story once of a worker preparing shredded cabbage (red cabbage) using a large piece of equipment to shred the heads of cabbage. Somehow she ended up seriously injuring her finger losing a fair chunk of it to the shredding machine. A trip to ER later she was back at work. The restaurant served the cabbage (after cooking it, as had been the intention missing chunk of finger or not). When the worker was told of this she said "they all got a taste of dark meat with that". This was something I was told, and not something I witnessed.


    I almost never eat out. Can't really offer tips on what to order to avoid potential mis-givings. Open kitchens are generally cleaner, sushi for example is often prepared in an open kitchen.

  7. #7
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    You should try a job in food service.
    If you don't know the way, you shouldn't be going there.

  8. #8
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    You must be fun at parties... if you go to them. Which is unlikely.
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  9. #9
    Me and the cat... Pamestique's Avatar
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    Good reason not to eat out... you don't have control over food prep or what or who is cooking and serving... at some point you just have to not think about that stuff....BTW if I eat out I always treat the wait staff well... I never send anything back to the kitchen or try and make my waiter's day miserable... you have no idea what is then being served to you...

    As to cats, my cat does not get up on the counter (he was taught not to and frankly he's too fat to jump) but that said, cat fur is everywhere... I mean everywhere... love the critter but hate the fur in everything. Not to mention cat butts and where their feet has been...just can't think about it!
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    Senior Member Dave Cutter's Avatar
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    Cats can present human health risks but they are so nice to have around..... most people accept the risk (although cats should never be around food prep surfaces).

    And isn't accepting the risks.... what life is all about. There are people's homes I would hesitate to eat food prepared in. Humans in general are kind of filthy. But the heath risks are not that great... mostly it's a gross feeling or impression.

    I'd much rather accept eating food that might have a tiny little chance of causing me a little digestive discomfort.... than isolate myself from the company of other humans. But that's just my feelings.

  11. #11
    Senior Member GP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snicklefritz View Post
    I was in Starbucks not too long ago and while waiting for my drink, a young guy from the neighboring TJI Friday's walks in. He's wearing TJIF garb and is obviously a worker there. While he was waiting in line, he stuck his hands down the back of his pants and proceeds to scratch himself. YUCK!! I hope he isn't preparing or serving food.

    Another experience I had was going to what looked like an upscale restaurant, using the restroom and finding that someone had the runs earlier in the day and it had dried up. GROSS!!!!!!

    I also don't eat at peoples' houses either unless I know them really well. Once had dinner at someone's house who apparently let their cats climb on the kitchen counters. I can't explain any other way that cat hair could get in the food.

    Why can't people be a bit more careful??
    I'm guessing you don't eat at taco shops and street vendors much. Around here you'd starve.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snicklefritz View Post
    Why can't people be a bit more careful??
    While I can totally sympathize with your sentiment, this is unlikely to change in our lifetime. You will drive yourself crazy.

    If you let it go and try to accept humans are indeed imperfect, sometimes gross/filthy animals, who pick their noses, fart in public, etc, life could be more fun.

    That or you are trolling. =D
    65% of all statistics are made up on the spot. - DD

  13. #13
    Senior Member jdon's Avatar
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    1. It has always been said a restaurants restrooms reflect the cleanliness of its kitchen. I couldn't agree more.

    2. Don't irritate the staff. At least until after your meal.

    3. Waiter! Why does my salad smell like ass?

  14. #14
    Mister Bleak! mconlonx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snicklefritz View Post
    While he was waiting in line, he stuck his hands down the back of his pants and proceeds to scratch himself. YUCK!! I hope he isn't preparing or serving food.
    You should see what he does with his hands when he's NOT in public...

    Stay inside.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus regarding mconlonx View Post
    You, I don't generally think of you as clueless. You're kind of ok.
    I know next to nothing. I am frequently wrong.

  15. #15
    Senior Member trackhub's Avatar
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    I have to agree with the OP. there are now very few Restaurants I will eat in. No chains at all, period. Their "low wage-high turnover" business model just doesn't work, at least
    not for me. There are a few local, privately owned places I go to, on occasion. Often, and I think this is especially true of the chains, you simply cannot have faith in the food.
    The theory that an unclean bathroom probably means an unclean kitchen is correct.

    No doubt, most of you have heard about the Pizza Hut district manager, who decided to relieve himself in a sink that is reserved for
    washing cooking utensils. Link to it. Folks, this brings up
    the natural question, how much of this sort of thing is going on, that we do not hear about?

    Luckily Boston does have its share of well-run places to eat, and some, such as Durgin Park, have been in business for a very long time.
    I thought I was suffering from depression once. Turned out, I was simply surrounded by idiots.

  16. #16
    Mister Bleak! mconlonx's Avatar
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    Knock wood, but I don't think I've ever experienced any kind of ill effect from eating out or bringing food in, with one exception. Grocery market deli coldcuts. Maybe it's the preservatives used in deli meats, but I've a sneaking suspicion that most slicers don't get cleaned/sanitized nearly as often as they should. Only food class that more consistently resulted in unhappy digestion for me.

    Serv-Safe certification is a joke.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus regarding mconlonx View Post
    You, I don't generally think of you as clueless. You're kind of ok.
    I know next to nothing. I am frequently wrong.

  17. #17
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    It's amazingly rare to get anything but cr*p from a restaurant, no matter how expensive. Healthy food doesn't sell very well.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
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  18. #18
    Senior Member Will G's Avatar
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    I love finding new and different non-chain family owned type restaurants and I've done that in a variety of countries in South and Central America, the Middle East, and Asia. I've had full blown food poisoning twice. Once in Tucson from a Jason's Deli and once from airline food.

    Worst kitchen story I've heard: During an extended stay vacation in the Middle East, the food contract was currently under Sri Lankan control but some folks from Bangladesh were bidding on it. Our squadron Flight Surgeon went to observe the food preparation demonstration. When he returned, he said we are eating MRE's for our stay if Bangladesh gets the contract because A) they chopped up raw chicken on the counter then threw that into the fridge dripping down on everything else, B) they then chopped up vegetables to be served raw on the same counter, and C) after mopping up the floor, they took the same mop and mopped down the counter tops. Fortunately, they didn't get the contract.
    Flying a jet is no different than riding a bicycle. It's just a lot harder to put baseball cards in the spokes.

  19. #19
    Senior Member
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    I love eating out, but it can get expensive. My wife doesn't like eating out because we seem to get poor service more often than not, and she hates to wait on food, wait on service, wait on getting the check, etc.

    I try not to think about what goes on in the kitchen. Lots of things that we would cringe at have a low risk of harming us. After what I've seen other animals eat and survive, I don't worry about it as much. I do recall getting sick one time after eating at a restaurant, that was over 30 years ago.

    Occasionally our TV news will have a big report on what they found in kitchens of restaurants. We make a point to not watch these stories because we don't want to know.

    I was in a fast food restaurant over 25 years ago, this was at the halfway point of a local group ride. About 5 people were standing in line to order. I was zoning out and not paying attention when I heard someone behind me yell "DON'T DO THAT!". We quickly figured out that the young kid serving food behind the counter had dropped the french fry scoop onto the floor, picked it up, and was about to stick it back into the cooked french fries. Somebody saw that and yelled out quickly enough to keep him from doing it.

  20. #20
    Senior Member
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    ha people tell me they wont eat fish from this lake. but I see em order from fastfood places lol id trust the fish a hect of a lot more

  21. #21
    Senior Member jdon's Avatar
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    I picked up Norovirus once from a salad while in Florida. Flew to Chicago and went for a walk. Well, until the sweating started and the sidewalk was tipping sideways. Found my way back to the Marriott and was stuck in bed for 3 days.

    That isn't bad considering the amount of travel and restaurant meals.

  22. #22
    Pentapointed Member ahsposo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdon View Post
    I picked up Norovirus once from a salad while in Florida. Flew to Chicago and went for a walk. Well, until the sweating started and the sidewalk was tipping sideways. Found my way back to the Marriott and was stuck in bed for 3 days.

    That isn't bad considering the amount of travel and restaurant meals.
    E-yew! Change that from "Senior Member" to "Disease Vector"!
    Quote Originally Posted by toddles View Post
    If I gotta look up words, it's not worth my time.

  23. #23
    Senior Member jdon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
    E-yew! Change that from "Senior Member" to "Disease Vector"!

  24. #24
    Pentapointed Member ahsposo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toddles View Post
    If I gotta look up words, it's not worth my time.

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