The Most Disgusting Things Restaurant Kitchens Do to Your Food


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Most of us who have worked in restaurants have witnessed things that would make anyone swear off eating out. However, the food is normally delicious, and dining out is so convenient that it is hard to avoid it entirely. It is still good to have an idea of some of the disgusting things that restaurant food might go through before making it onto your table.

Continue reading to find out more about some of the wildest things that restaurants do to your food.

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1. Preparing Food Without Washing Hands

Professional cooks & chefs normally have to use their hands when preparing most dishes. As such, they should always stick to the recommended hand washing guidelines. These professionals are required to thoroughly wash their hands after handling raw food, taking a cigarette break, or visiting the bathroom. Soiled hands should always be washed at a hand washing station, separate from the food preparations and dishwashing sinks.

RedRedRoad posted about how one of their colleagues had to be taken to the emergency room simply because he did not wash his hands after preparing a spicy dish.

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2. Serving Food in Dirty Dishes

In addition to not washing their hands, some pro cooks insist on reusing some dishes without cleaning them first. On Reddit, notahipster noted that on their last day working at one restaurant, the cook insisted that they not clean guacamole bowls that were to be refilled and put back out. They had to refill the bowls because the restaurant owner wouldn’t buy more bowls.

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3. Using Dirty Towels

Some will even go a step further and use the towel tucked in their apron to clean off plated dishes – like wiping off stray sauce marks – before serving. The main issue here is that they also use the towel to wipe down their work surface.

Another Redditor described how they saw a cook use a dirty towel to wipe mayo off a burger before sending it out to be served to a customer. According to the user, the towel in question appeared to have been in “use for a week cleaning grills and stuff,” as it was very dirty and disgusting.

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4. Preparing Food in Cockroach Infested Kitchens

Restaurant kitchens are a haven for cockroaches looking for a source of food. Preparing food in a kitchen infested with rats or roaches is against the health code. However, many restaurants still do it.

This Reddit user talked of how they worked in an establishment where there were cockroaches everywhere and no one seemed to mind.

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5. Cooking When Ill

It is common for cooks to continue working even when they are sick. It is normally very hard to find a last-minute replacement for an ill cook – especially if it is the head chef. These professionals often have to take one for the team and work while sick because they oversee the entire kitchen.

One Quora user talks about a time when he was forced to prepare food while suffering from the flu. The user said, “I was sweating profusely and my sweat kept falling in the dough.” The user also added that no matter how hard they tried, it was impossible to keep a few drops from their runny nose from getting into the dough that was being prepared!

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6. Reusing Food

It is common for restaurants to reuse food. Leftover vegetables are turned into soup while the bread on the tables is reused all the time. Some unscrupulous establishments will take things to a whole new level by scraping off leftovers from plates or even diving into garbage bags.

One Reddit user described how the restaurant they used to work in used vegetables and old hamburgers to make chili. Redditor eyekwah2 even described a situation where one of the restaurant workers picked up a hamburger off the floor to be used in making chili!

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7. Preparing Food in Unsanitary Basements

It’s normal to walk into a trendy-looking restaurant and think that their kitchen is as clean and tidy as the public area. You’d also be forgiven for thinking that your chef prepares every ingredient by hand on a daily basis.

According to a user on Reddit, some restaurants hire illegal immigrants to prepare food in dark basements hidden behind clean public areas. This could be the case in that trendy restaurant you love housed in an old building with a basement.

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8. Picking Food Off the Floor

No one expects to be served food that is fresh off the floor. However, some restaurant owners can’t bear to see food being thrown out just because it fell down. These guys are willing to serve soiled food just to save a buck.

This Reddit user recalls a situation where he was forced to pick a pizza off the floor after it was done. Afterward, the restaurant owner sprinkled new toppings on the pie and then warmed it back up in the oven.

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9. Changing the Expiration Dates on Food

You are not supposed to eat food that is past the expiration date as some of the ingredients therein might have gone bad. More importantly, restaurants are not supposed to change the expiration dates on food items to avoid having to throw them out.

However, this is not always the case. Mesaboog – a Reddit user – talked about how their manager would slap a label with a new expiration date on food that was already expired and ready to be discarded.

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10. Serving Food Contaminated by Insects

Many insects, including flies, carry different kinds of bacteria, parasites, and viruses known to make people sick. This means that even though they are digestible, you should not eat them or food that has been contaminated by said insects.

Some kitchen workers would rather pull dead insects from food and serve it rather than throw it away. Maccas75 describes a case where a restaurant cook  removed a dead fly from a customer’s meal before sending it to their table.

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Eating Out Safely

Eating out does come with a level of risk. Some restaurants and chefs may not be doing all that they can to ensure that the food they serve is safe for human consumption. To minimize your chances of eating contaminated food when dining out, be sure to follow the CDC’s food safety and eating out guidelines.

This story was produced and syndicated by MediaFeed.

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