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Similar prob to "To tell or not to tell..."

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Only it's not the entire restaurant.

It's an adorable small cafe near Death Valley. I was hired on to take over two shifts, 2 - AM and 2 - PM. I spent most of the first couple of days (it was really slow) cleaning. Grease, food dribbles...

The cook who showed me the ropes is a nice guy but...

In the past 3 days I've been there I have NEVER seen him wash his hands once, he touches everything from raw meat to raw bacon and then prepares salads or cold sandwiches, eats items as he preps them and to top it all off he's dropped over 3 different food items on the floor and picked them up and used them! :eek: His reasoning was "they'll never know". (One dish was even going to the local sheriff on their lunch break!)

I won't have to deal with this once I'm the only one in the kitchen on my shifts, but jeeeezzz. It's so in the middle of "nowhere" I doubt if the health inspector even knows the address to come around once in awhile. (It's close to where I live in NV but far from any major city in CA, where it's located)

I know the owners are planning to change the menu to much lighter, fresher and healtier fare and he has only been there for a few months.

If the owners bring up sanitation issues with him, the only person who would have observed this would be me. The server doesn't really care one way or another.

I'm looking forward to being involved with the re-invention of this little place and know they're having problems with reliable help.

What would you do?
:confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused:

April
(and yeah...I'm looking at other employment options)
post #2 of 14
There is only one course of action... the right one! Put yourself in the position of the customer; what if you were the parent of a young child that is about to eat the food that this cook has prepared? Would you feel comfortable feeding this to your child? While it may be tough for you to confront this guy, it is what needs to be done. This isn't a question of right versus wrong, nor is it a "personal" issue. It is an issue of safety. And, put your 'comfort level' aside. Do what needs to be done!

"True character is revealed when you come face to face with adversity."

Invention, my dear friends, is ninety-three percent perspiration, six percent electricity, four percent evaporation, and two percent butterscotch ripple

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Invention, my dear friends, is ninety-three percent perspiration, six percent electricity, four percent evaporation, and two percent butterscotch ripple

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post #3 of 14
I agree with Jim. Its can be uncomfortable, but that guy needs to be barked at. Washing your hands should be second nature in a kitchen. I mean, come on, we are touching peoples food. As far as dropping food on the floor and using it, thats just plain unacceptable. Nice guy or not, the guy is wrong.
My life, my choice.....
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My life, my choice.....
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post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks and yeah, I agree..

It's just being a little taken aback (read: stunned) at the lack of concern on his part. He worked prior at one of the local casinos in my area that happened to be one of the lousiest restaurants I've ever eaten at. Luckily the food was so back we couldn't eat it. Guess I was one of the lucky ones.

(eyeeeeuuuuuuu)

In any event I bit the bullet and grabbed the Cafe Manager's ear for awhile today.

Also on my shift I discovered from my server that this guy had told me all kinds of things that were flat out wrong about how things were done around the place.

I don't know if he was lying on purpose, or he just didn't care one way or another about following procedures the way the owner wants it done.

On a positive side it went very well and looks like it's going to work out (at present anyway...I still haven't been faced with a busload of tourists yet...:crazy:)

Thanks again and I'll let y'all know how it turns out.

April
post #5 of 14

re: similar prob

I agree with Jim as far as the question of sanitation. I have worked at many restaurants, and my wife and I operated a hot dog stand, and someday hope to open one in a permanent location.

However, Jim did something that hit all my hot buttons at once. His touching little display of concern over some fictitious child. Come on, Jim. Have the decency to make an argument without falling back on the poor child in whatever danger you perceive. I get so sick of eveyone with an axe to grind pulling out that tired old 'protect the children.' Stand on your own feet and state that the man is endangering the health of real people, not imaginary children.

Every time some political hack decides to attack something in the U.S., we hear about how this has to be done, (ready? 1-2-3) to save the children I guarantee you, every time you hear a politician say save (or portect)the children, you are going to lose something, either large or small.

I love children as much as the next guy, but I can't stand the kids being made the scapegoats for those people who want nothing more than to rule the lives of everyone in the country.
post #6 of 14
First, children are "real people". Second, along with the elderly, children are more susceptible to food-borne illnesses. So, as professional chefs, we have a responsibility here. The only thing that will get lost if we don't hold ourselves to a high standard is someone's life. Hopefully that will clarify matters for you.
Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!
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Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!
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post #7 of 14
Easy there, tiger! I'm just making a point... no need to rip out my spleen. Children, among others, are considered "populations at risk" for food borne illness, along with the elderly, recently ill, those on certain medications, etc. They are not scapegoats. Quite the opposite, really.

Okay? Now take a deep, cleansing breath. All better?

Invention, my dear friends, is ninety-three percent perspiration, six percent electricity, four percent evaporation, and two percent butterscotch ripple

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Invention, my dear friends, is ninety-three percent perspiration, six percent electricity, four percent evaporation, and two percent butterscotch ripple

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post #8 of 14
I don't know what your peeve is with kids but the guy in the above story is obviously going to make someone sick and it will likely be an elderly person or a CHILD.

Anyway Jim was only making the "what if it was your child?" argument because it illustrates the point very saliently. If you say "what if you had to eat this?" most people, believing themselves to be immortal don't give a rat's hind quarters about risk.

I think we can disagree with each other without getting all "hot button pressed must retaliate" on each other.

To answer the question I would go to the owner and offer to sit in on the meeting to give your testimony as it were.
Mike

“If there's anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot now.” -- Zaphod Beeblebrox
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Mike

“If there's anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot now.” -- Zaphod Beeblebrox
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post #9 of 14
Uh...getting back to the sanitation issue....

A diplomatic way is to trot off to the local health Dept, get a copy of thier rules and guidelines, as well as some of those "wash yer hands!" stickers that go over the handsink. Get everyone to read the local guidlines and then sign it--everyone: Owners waitresses, cooks, d/washers. Make sure that there's a handsink available and hot water, soap and paper towels.

Now there's no excuse for anything, including "nobody told me"...
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #10 of 14

What ever happened to accountability?

Just take some pride in what you do and say something OUT LOUD!! I guess there's nothing wrong with hitting up your superior but what's wrong with just saying it? Is he the incredible hulk? If you anger him slightly will he smash you? If not just speak up, I think that's what having pride in your job is all about. Maybe he's unaware of those risks or retarded! who knows.

I did, however get a laugh about the back and forth about children :lol: extremely entertaining.
" Never fry bacon naked!"

-Powers
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" Never fry bacon naked!"

-Powers
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post #11 of 14

re: similar prob

Just as Jim was only trying to make a point, I was trying to make a point also, and my statement was just as cogent as his was.

I have great respect for Jim, from reading his other posts, I love children as much as anyone else, and I am death on those who put the population at risk with unsanitary conditions. My point was that anyone who wants to control you or take away something you enjoy is going to use the catch-phrase save, or protect, the children.

When I was at a Furr's cafeteria in California that was continuing to serve during a power failure, and the food temps were meeting in the middle of the range, hot becoming cool and cold becoming warm, I did not tell the manager or the Health Department that some kid might get sick, but that the people who were there, with trays of food with temps all out of range were in danger because of rapid bacteria growth.

I apologize if anyone took my comments as a personal attack on Jim, but it is a pet peeve of minebecause of other, unscrupulous people hiding behind children to make the life of adults blander. Here in Arizona, our populace just pass a statewide smoking ban, and the big battle was over smoking in bars. believe it or not, the main thrust of the campaign was that somehow, banning smoking in bars would protect the children of Arizona. Who wants to have people think you don't care about children? So, of course anyone who spoke against the banning of smoking in bars was accused of not caring about the children. Can you see my point now? CHILDREN ARE NOT ALLOWED IN BARS IN ARIZONA! But the bill passed and became law because of our great concern for children. Apparently, we love kids here, but aren't that bright.

Sorry , Jim. Best wishes to you.
post #12 of 14
Thanks. No worries!

Invention, my dear friends, is ninety-three percent perspiration, six percent electricity, four percent evaporation, and two percent butterscotch ripple

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Invention, my dear friends, is ninety-three percent perspiration, six percent electricity, four percent evaporation, and two percent butterscotch ripple

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post #13 of 14
Have courage April. :) The world is too full of people who don't speak up when they see something awry. It happened the other day to me. I was at an outlet store and I swear I saw a lady put a bunch of stuff into her coat. I didn't say a thing. I could have been wrong still, but my courage failed me. I had my chance and I blew it. You, however, have all the chances in this world. Speak up!
post #14 of 14
Sanitation isn't something you really want to mess around with, especially now in days and especially since you said your shop is in the middle of butt fkin no where so who knows how long it would take for an ambulance to get to your location should something serious happen.
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