Ew. Ew. Ew.
I thought that at least 100 times last week as I went over restaurant inspection reports. Floating fruit flies? Gross. Mold build up in soda fountain caps? Yuck. Food sitting out for more than four hours? Never going there again.
Health and safety should be the number one priority of any establishment that serves food and/or drink. You go into the hospitality business because you want to make people happy and give them a good experience. No one can have that when they find a band-aid in their food (this happened to me at a hibachi restaurant in Wichita. We still had to pay for the dinner) or experiencing food poisoning.
As for mistakes–I get it. I’ve worked in restaurants (and I was the worst). Owners, employees and, more than anyone, patrons underestimate all the work it takes just to guarantee food safety. That it means constant labeling, checking temperatures, sanitizing and organizing. My personal philosophy when it comes to restaurants is to give them two chances. If I find a hair in my food once, I’ll chalk it up to a mistake. If it happens twice, you no longer have my business.
Unless I get sick. Then all bets are off.
After speaking to the owners I sited in my story, I understand where they’re coming from. If you only have a few employees, do you really need to be held to the same standards as the corporate Applebee’s down the street? Do you need to label a container of ranch that you know will get used in 48 hours? Realistically, probably not. But those are the rules of the industry. We all have to do things in our jobs that seem unnecessary.
You get over it and you either adapt or you go down. Or maybe you’re lucky enough to have the money to pay for the fines.
-Kayla Regan, Current Conditions