Ever watched the movie Waiting? Ever wonder how much of it was true? I like to compare my experiences from the kitchens I have worked for with the movie. I am also serve safe certified due to my past school major, Culinary Arts: Baking & Pastries. So I can see poor kitchen practices…
I was young when I first started in the restaurant circuit. I worked in an old school Steakhouse. It’s now closed. I worked there occasionally when I was 13 and 14 and again when I was 17. Yes, I realize you must be 16 to serve food, or work in a restaurant but that was then.
The practices kept in the behind the scenes, well, they make me cringe now. Cooks were smoking over the stoves and grills. We would give you a ball of butter, a basket of crackers, and a veggie tray when you were seated. Despite having the best pickles on the veggie tray, they weren’t placed there using the best practice of food handling. After you left, your tray was stored back in the fridge, just as it left the table, on top of the other forgotten trays. When a table was seated, a bare hand was used to replenish the tray, that same bare hand was used to put your ball of butter on the plate. Leftover butter was put into a container to be reused and reballed. Gross.
I don’t remember a lot of hand washing there either. Your rolls were also acquired by a bare hand and if there were leftovers from your basket, they too were saved.
That was one place. I have to say, even typing those words make me throw up a little in my mouth. I will let you digest that one, I will say that I am thankful they have been closed for some time and their practices died with it. Yuck!