So Gross!!! (Long)

Decorating By Tallulah Updated 19 Mar 2009 , 3:26am by sadsmile

costumeczar Posted 14 Jan 2009 , 2:38am
post #61 of 128

About mixing the old food with the new food in a buffet...You're only supposed to hold food on a buffet at certain temperatures for certain lengths of time, and if you're just dumping new food on top of old food, who knows how long the old food has been there? It could have been out for ten hours if the trays are never replaced. Also, think of the amount of handling the food gets, and if people are poking around in the food, re-using dirty plates, sneezing and coughing on the trays, etc., then you're just letting that contamination get stirred around instead of replacing it with clean trays of food.

At the temperatures most buffets hold their food, the bacteria is still going to be able to grow, just a lot more slowly. If you refill the pans instead of replacing them you'll be giving it more of a time opportunity to multiply enough to make someone sick.

Personally, I can't think of a buffet that I've ever eaten at where the food seemed to be held at over 145 degrees, which is what I think the guideline is for hot food, if I remember correctly.

Monkess Posted 14 Jan 2009 , 4:55pm
post #62 of 128

We have another restaurant in the same plaza as mine, they are notorious for serving stale food, what I dont get is how he is still in business...all the locals know not to go there..they take out the stuffing from the pastry and recycle it by stuffing it again the next morning...they pick the refuse vegetables which the grocery store(in the same mall) throw out...I mean come on!!
Having said and read all that we have...are we doomed to not eat out again? My family actually prefers to eat in, it is the foodie in me that likes to go out once a week...if it were up to them they would never go out and not miss it...I do feel hypocritical, being a germ freak and yet exposing myself to stuff like I said earlier though we stick to 5-6 places we have been visiting forever...oh well...

costumeczar Posted 14 Jan 2009 , 5:48pm
post #63 of 128

When I was in culinary school and was taking the sanitation course, the chef teaching the class told us to look around if we went out to eat during the week. We were supposed to talk about good and bad things that we saw in the restaurants. After the week that we had to read the food-borne illness and food handling chapters, she asked if anyone had anything they had noticed during the week. Not one person rasied their hand, and she said "didn't ANYONE eat out last week?" One guy piped up and said "after reading chapter 5, I'm never eating out again!" icon_lol.gif

VannaD Posted 14 Jan 2009 , 9:12pm
post #64 of 128

costumeczar, thats a great story and the thing is I believe it! CakesbyJen and Indydebi, i totally believe the chinese restraunts are the worse. The thing about the mexican restraunt i worked in was my boss wasnt even mexican. People always got a kick out of the fact that he was Iranian(except after 9/11 when the restraunt was vandalized and some idiots even tried to boycott it). He actually started out working for a mexican guy at a mexican restraunt and after he learned everything, branched out on his own. He was able to do so b/c back in his country his family had money, so he had a nice bank account of his own. My state doesnt legalize home bakers either, and i Just dont understand how they let some of the restraunts here stay open . My moms runs a restraunt and says they either call and let her know they are coming or they will pop in and ask if shes ready to be inspected!!! I mean come on, how in the world are you going to find the violations if youre pratically setting up an appointment to go! Give me a break!

mixinvixen Posted 14 Jan 2009 , 9:23pm
post #65 of 128

many years ago my dad ran an american legion...the state inspector would call and let dad know when he would be in, so dad could have time to lock up all his slot machines and clean up the kitchen. he was a drinking buddy of my dad's.

loriemoms Posted 14 Jan 2009 , 9:38pm
post #66 of 128
Originally Posted by Tallulah

Okay, I had no idea where to post this so I'm posting here....

I now have to relive this experience, so bear with me. In all fairness I have to say I'm a germ-a-phobe. I'm the type that washes fruit and veggies with soap, cleans her bathroom with a toothbrush and has separate cleaning towels for everything. I even wash them separately.

That said, I'm a Pastry Chef who has to complete an internship at a bakery. I chose this particular bakery because its been in business for a great number of years, the staff seemed nice and it was close to home.

BIG MISTAKE! The first 10 minutes set the tone for what was to be the most terrible experience EVER!

I had to fill tarts. I was asked to get some raspberries out of the fridge. I get my rasberries out, I am ready to wash them, and I'm told, no don't wash them. I was then told to please "ask questions" before doing anything. For using common sense??!! icon_eek.gif

Against my will I had to put these raspberries, possibily full of pesticides and gosh knows what else on these tarts. I was then told to get some strawberries and blueberries out of the fridge. Again, no washing involved. Well, the same person who told me to "ask questions", takes a knife she was using on something else (can you say, cross contamination, folks?), and starts cutting these strawberries and places them on tarts.

She then opens the blueberry packaging. Some blueberries fall on the floor, she picks them up and puts them right on the tart!!!

I thought I was going to faint! That wasn't the worst of it! There's more but I don't want to gross you guys out. The kitchen itself was dirty and no matter how many times I said to myself, "When in Rome..." I just could not take it.

Now I am forced to ask the hard question, what if this is the industry standard? I clearly have to choose another site - But how will the germ-a-phobe in me survive? icon_cry.gif

I cannot beleive that would be the norm! Call Chef Ramsey! icon_biggrin.gif

BarbRaz Posted 15 Jan 2009 , 2:17pm
post #67 of 128

Here in Florida, home based kitchens are not allowed. But, does anyone know why the Booster Club at one of the local high schools can prepare food at home and sell it at the football games? The profits go to the football program, but is this legal or are they taking a chance too?

mlynnb Posted 15 Jan 2009 , 2:47pm
post #68 of 128

Ummm, I knew there was a reason we don't eat out much!!! icon_eek.gif

lapazlady Posted 15 Jan 2009 , 2:58pm
post #69 of 128

Good Lord, I couldn't even read all the stories. How disgusting!

tx_cupcake Posted 15 Jan 2009 , 3:01pm
post #70 of 128

How is it that I can't bake from my own spotless home kitchen and filthy commercial kitchens are allowed to churn out cupcake after cake after cookie? icon_mad.gificon_mad.gificon_mad.gif
That is so depressing! icon_cry.gif

LSW Posted 15 Jan 2009 , 3:37pm
post #71 of 128

I recently delivered and set up a wedding cake in our local police lodge. The bride's mother had contracted with a caterer to do all of the cooking for the reception in the lodge kitchen. (she is licensed) It was a wife, husband, and daughter team. As I was packing up to leave, I spoke with the wife concerning the slicing instructions and box for the top tier I was leaving. I told her the food smelled delicious, she asked if I wanted to taste it, but I politely said no as they had on no hair nets, both women had long hair, only the husband had on an apron and the wife had food on her hands up to her elbows. Apparently she was not using spoons to stir the food, only her bare hands and I could see her long painted fingernails through the food! How Gross! I just hope no one got sick!!!!!

VannaD Posted 22 Jan 2009 , 4:36pm
post #72 of 128

I got to say LSW, i gagged when i read your post. I cant stand for someone to put their hands near my food, the whole arm, yikes! I wonder what they wouldve done if they lost a nail in all that food, not to mention the hair! Yeah, i think i wouldve passed on tasting their "delicious" food too. Why would someone use their hand(and arm) to stir food anyway?? If nothing else it seems it would be easier to use a spoon, wouldnt that make clean up a little easier?

shiney Posted 23 Jan 2009 , 5:03pm
post #73 of 128

[quote="Tallulah"]My belief is you treat your customers like you treat your mom. Would you serve your mom something you picked up off the floor!? I wouldn't!
Tallulah, So true! That's the perfect attitude! I love that!

michellenj Posted 25 Jan 2009 , 7:09pm
post #74 of 128

You know those little finger condoms that cooks put over their fingers when they have a cut? My dh, on his first night on the floor as a manager of a restaurant, had a lady call him over to complain that a "balloon" was in her mixed veg. Barf. It's a good thing she didn't know what it really was.

cuteums Posted 26 Jan 2009 , 11:13am
post #75 of 128

Wow, you know about the berries, I was watching the food network the other day and Ina Garten (barefoot contessa) was making something with raspberries and she specifically said not to wash them which grossed me out. She might buy her raspberries from the local farm but I don't. But even then, how do you know that a dog or squirrel didn't pee on them or something or what pesticides the farmer used. Eew. Wash and dry your berries people. It won't ruin your raspberries. They get rained on outside and turn out just fine. I have heard the same thing about mushrooms too. I wash them too.

As for the health inspectors, I remember being in college and yelling at some health inspectors. There was nothing the school could do about it either. There was this inspector testing the temperatures of things. I saw them stick the thermometer in raw chicken, and then without even wiping it off with a paper towel stick it in cooked food. I was furious. Luckily we had great cooks who were very clean, and they just got rid of anything this disgusting inspector touched.

CakesByJen2 Posted 26 Jan 2009 , 1:16pm
post #76 of 128

I agree about washing berries; I think that is another myth, like that you can't put fondant cakes in the fridge. I wash all my berries and I have never had a problem with them turning to "mush". Washing them doesn't turn them to mush; rough handling does. I put them in a strainer and rinse, then let drain on paper towels. You do want to wait and wash them just prior to using, and you do have to dry them if they are going to be dipped in chocolate.

krysoco Posted 26 Jan 2009 , 4:38pm
post #77 of 128
Originally Posted by Tallulah

I'm told, no don't wash them. I was then told to please "ask questions" before doing anything. For using common sense??!! icon_eek.gif

I was then told to get some strawberries and blueberries out of the fridge. Again, no washing involved.

She then opens the blueberry packaging. Some blueberries fall on the floor, she picks them up and puts them right on the tart!!!

Okay bare with me here. I am a germaphobia too. I wash everything.

You're not suppose to 'wash' berries. We have a blueberry farm near us and the owner told me not to wash the berries when I picked/packaged them. They were organic. But fertilizer was still used. Don't get me started on 'organic'.
Anyway when I took a cake class at a local store here. The women putting it on were supposed 'experts'. They did specifically say not to wash the strawberries when she was demonstrating how to chocolate dip strawberries. She said they are not meant to be washed. icon_surprised.gif Amazing I know. I was sitting there thinking she doesn't know me very well. I wash everything.
So maybe she was taught that also.

But falling on the floor and not washing fruit. Hell no! Maybe in my house where I know my floors are pretty clean. No pets & no shoes in my home. I clean them VERY often like 3 times a day. But I'd still wash them!! I would've died.

VannaD Posted 27 Jan 2009 , 8:56pm
post #78 of 128

Shame on all of you! SO this weekend hubby and i decide to got to a chinese buffet... The whole time all i could think about was this thread. I had posted about a certain chinese restraunt being super nasty but i was still able to eat chinese at other locations, now that i know its everywhere... i dont know if ill ever be the same!! So shame on yall and all your horror stories.. IF anyone missed the HAIR poll, go check it out it has some nasty stories as well...

cakecastle Posted 27 Jan 2009 , 9:31pm
post #79 of 128


krysoco Posted 27 Jan 2009 , 11:28pm
post #80 of 128
Originally Posted by CakesByJen2

I think that is another myth, like that you can't put fondant cakes in the fridge. I wash all my berries and I have never had a problem with them turning to "mush". Washing them doesn't turn them to mush; rough handling does.

Nope have to deny this. Maybe to each his own. But mush is not a myth. Happens to me all the time. IDK why. I dont mishandle my berries (OMG I can't believe I just said that. LMBO.) I do what you just stated and still mush. I wonder if weather/location plays a role in this. I live in La. where its very humid. icon_confused.gif

Cake4ever Posted 29 Jan 2009 , 4:31pm
post #81 of 128

Whyyyyy, oh why did I read this whole thread?! icon_cry.gif But I am glad I did.

I did get some crappy soup the other day from a pub. I did not complain and did not eat it. No way are they going to remember me and fix me up good next time. I probably won't ever be back.

Sometimes you sit at a table and think, why can't they clean the salt and pepper shakers til they shine? You can just imagine how many kids have played with them or done worse.

Buffets are germ spreaders. Everyone serves themselves, that's a lot of people sneezing on their hands and serving themselves or even worse, kids who serve themselves after picking their nose. I always keep antibac. with me and we all clean our hands after serving ourselves. I was standing in line behind a teenager and watched her drop the serving spoon and put it back in the tray. I quickly grabbed it and handed it to the server who was headed to get it at the same time. -- Just think of the cruse ships!

I do wash berries that I intend to eat immediately. I do not wash them if I am going to bake with them. Mushrooms get hard & rubbery and absorb water if you wash them, you should only use a moist towel to dust off any dirt you see as you would the berries.

krysoco Posted 29 Jan 2009 , 7:46pm
post #82 of 128
Originally Posted by SkisInOkinawa

Sometimes you sit at a table and think, why can't they clean the salt and pepper shakers til they shine? You can just imagine how many kids have played with them or done worse.

Everyone serves themselves, that's a lot of people sneezing on their hands and serving themselves

At least i know that I'm not the only one that worries about these things. I actually use a paper napkin to grab the serving spoons. It kills me that my family touches them w/their hands. I dont let my kids touch the shakers, menus, etc.. I wipe down the table and chairs w/a wipe before we eat. icon_redface.gif I dont let my kids play w/toys, tables, books and such at doctors' offices.

Wing-Ding Posted 29 Jan 2009 , 8:00pm
post #83 of 128

I'm cringing reading all these stories! I can't imagine cooking in a filthy kitchen! My son gts mad at me sometimes because the first thing out of my mouth when he wants me to fix something for dinner, lunch, cake, etc is: Is the kitchen CLEAN? He now cleans the kitchen thoroughly before asking my to make anything for him. He knows how I am.

One time I was helping my best friend run her café (before she sold it). It was just before opening and I wanted to make sure the oil was at the right temperature and everything was ready to go. When I walked into the kitchen I caught the line cooks doing cocaine and sucking the nitrous gas out of the whipped cream containers and putting them back in the walk-in! They also didn't clean the overhead above the griddle and I saw something drip onto it. They said they sprayed it with cleaner but thought they could just clean it later. I called in the back up line chefs and then fired the other guys when the replacements showed up.

LSW Posted 29 Jan 2009 , 9:28pm
post #84 of 128

I have another story that truly lives up to this thread's name. Years ago I worked in the bakery at one of the local grocery stores in my area. The bakery manager was making donuts one day ( we made them from scratch) and as she was kneading the dough she dropped it on the floor where she was standing. I asked her if she was going to throw it away, she said no way, she wasn't wasting 25 lbs of dough and continued to knead the dough. After a while we started smelling an odor only to realize it was coming from her side of the room. Turns out she had stepped in dog mess and it was all over her shoe and on the floor right where she had dropped the dough. Did she throw it away? Nope, she said that's okay the germs will be killed when I fry the donuts!! Oh my _ _ _ ! I never ate anything out of that bakery again!!! Oh, and yes I did tell the store manager. He said he couldn't be bothered with anything like that! This is also the same lady that lost one of her fake fingernails only to have it turn up in one of the doughnuts!! I still gag when I think about it today.

KoryAK Posted 29 Jan 2009 , 10:16pm
post #85 of 128

OMG a 25#er on the floor is a hard call (I probably would have trimmed the part that touched the floor off and kept the rest) but DOG POO? no way. thats so bad!

planetsomsom Posted 29 Jan 2009 , 11:38pm
post #86 of 128

I'm sure you can report it anonymously.

Here's the thing: if someone gets sick, it IS possible to pinpoint where they got sick from... otherwise there wouldn't be so many food establishments being shut down. If they can find out which day they got sick, they can find out where they ate. If they find out where and when, they can find out who worked that day. If you're the newest person, they're going to assume it's you. So it would seem, either way, there's a chance of getting fired.

The reason why health workers don't catch these things, is because food establishments are always warned ahead of time, giving them a chance to clean up before someone comes in with a clip board.

4kids Posted 30 Jan 2009 , 10:09pm
post #87 of 128

OK... have to share this. We took my 3 year old daughter out to a "nicer" fast food restaraunt this week. She got sick at the restaraunt and threw up on the floor under the table. I felt horrible and tried to clean it up as best as I could. I told a manager what happened. She came out with a wet cloth and a mop bucket. She cleaned up the floor with the cloth... stuck the cloth in the bucket... wrung it out... and wiped off the table. After "cleaning" the table, she bid us goodbye and preceeded to "clean" 2 other tables with that same cloth!!! I am 5 months pregnant, I promptly went into the restroom and threw up as well after seeing that. It was probably the one of the worst things I have ever seen. Ewwww!!!!

weirkd Posted 30 Jan 2009 , 10:18pm
post #88 of 128

You know after I read the post I had to laugh because I thought of Julia Childs! She would be doing something with a chicken, drop it on the floor and continue her demonstration. I would never do something like that but just one person's clean is another person 5 second rule!

annacakes Posted 30 Jan 2009 , 11:27pm
post #89 of 128

In Ontario we have strict rules for bakery and restaurant kitchens. I know that inspections are done regularly and that there is no warning given about an inspector coming. The last bakery I worked in was a pleasure. ALL rules were observed down to the last letter and I felt good about the cakes/decorating I did there. The management of this bakery did everything they could to be sure that they were in compliance.

However, many of the PEOPLE who work in the industry are not trained about food safety. Its up to the owner/operators of these establishments to see to it that they ARE trained, that they DO know and follow the rules. There is much finger licking, sneezing, unkempt hair, lack of hand washing etc. going on. No matter how diligent an establishment is, it's very difficult to monitor these things. They can't be everywhere at once.

Education is the key and it should be mandatory for food service workers to be trained in food safety. No certificate, no job.

tripleD Posted 30 Jan 2009 , 11:48pm
post #90 of 128

OMG! I have seen my share of gross in restaurants. I worked and traveled for a chain and oh what I saw. From dropped on the floor to creepy crawly on the food and equip. I delivered a cake to a "fine"
restaurant It was a very expensive place. When i saw the kitchen
i could have just died. I know for a fact I would never go there.

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