I spy with my little eye- OH GROSS!

How many Food Safety mistakes can you spot in this short but very real story?

A nice Saturday afternoon and some seafood was in order.   We decided to go to a very popular spot (sorry will not name names)  for lunch.  As we walked in there was a party going on in the restaurant area so we decided to head over to the bar side.   I ordered an iced tea and steamed shrimp.

While waiting on our drinks I noticed a table with a small child.  The server, a middle aged woman, clears some dishes and empty bottles from a table, comes behind the bar and begins making what appears to be a Shirley Temple for the child.  She reaches in and full fists out about 5 cherries and drops them in the drink.  “Oh gross”, I tell my dining companion.  Then I said she should know better but often servers are not trained in the basics of food safety.  I brushed it off since she was not my server and I previously and promptly removed the lemon wedge inserted on the rim of my glass.

As we waited for our food I watched a young man come from the kitchen, enter behind the bar wearing a dirty apron, walk to the soda fountain and WHAT!  There it was,  he shoved the fountain nozzle into his water bottle for a refill.  I stared, gasped and commented to my friend to look.  Yes, the young man heard me as he turned to look.  With the nozzle shoved tightly into the hole where a few minutes ago he had his mouth wrapped around it  transferring saliva, he seems unfazed by what I was seeing.

My steamed shrimp came out piping how and I peeled and ate, convincing myself that I am most likely safe from the possible mayhem of what I can’t see in the kitchen.  It appears there seems to be major  lack of training on managements part.  The food handler and server did not seem to even hide what they did.  That shows lack of understanding how much they are putting the public at risk.

Lets review some the food safety mistakes:

  • Server reaches into and handles RTE food.
  • Server did not wash hands after clearing  table.
  • Food Handler is apparently allowed to drink from a water bottle in the kitchen area.
  • The food handler exited the kitchen wearing apron.
  • Apron was dirty.
  • Food Handler thinks nothing of shoving the common use nozzle into a container he just had in his mouth.

Lets just say I am glad I ordered the tea and a food they most likely did not touch after cooking.  I will not be back again.  If I can spot this many critical errors from the bar area, imagine what is going on in that kitchen.


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