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How Much Can You Trust a Restaurant? — The Gross Facts About Eating Out

Urban Hippie Love, Flickr

We have all battled a little food poising at least once in our lives. That lunch date out with friends turn into an evening spent with the toilet. Never a pretty sight, is it? With getting sick from restaurant food so common place, why do we keep chancing it? I recently ate at one of my favorite little burger joints and ended up regretting it for days later. There is something about being sick to your stomach that can knock you out of normal, everyday life for a long time. The icky feeling added to the possibility that you may never be able to trust food again equals out to be a horrible experience.

But, I have gone out to eat again and been really risky with it. You know what I mean. That day that you are dying to have a burrito and then you see that little mom and pop taqueria you’ve never tried before. You have a little voice in the back of your head saying, “Don’t do it. You know you can’t trust this to be a good decision.” Then you pull into the parking lot and scarf down that tortilla wrapped hazard anyway. Lets not pick on our local mom and pop’s, though. Plenty of chain restaurants fall short of the healthy and happy eating experience. Just because they have the required signs in the bathroom for employees to wash their hands does not mean that they will.

I don’t think there is much past experience that will keep us from living these dare devil ways. If that was the case, we would have been paying attention long ago to all of the warning signs.

Plenty of stories come out in the news, the paper, on the internet, and featured on television shows telling us about someone else’s horror story with a bad sandwich, but we don’t listen. Stories such as those told by David Seaman for Main Street news should be the turning point for all of us. He collected ten of the most disgusting restaurant tales. One described that, “Super China Buffet, which┬áreportedly┬áreceived six “critical violations” of the health code for a number of unappetizing reasons…” This restaurant in Erie, PA received these violations because of “pink” slime growing inside their ice machine.

What in the world causes pink slime? That sounds like the beginning to a movie about an alien attack. Another story from this countdown of the gag inducing yuck described a blood and gore scene. “A member of the kitchen staff had cut off a portion of his finger and, in the confusion that arose when people rushed to help the man, the finger ended up on a plate.”

This sounds like something we might laugh at in a sitcom, but to start chowing down on a burger and find a finger! Will the horror never end?

Apparently not. There are plenty of shows that we are definitely not laughing at when it comes to the unveiling of what is really behind those kitchen doors. One famous show from this bunch is Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares. He isn’t just showing the world how to fix up a failing kitchen, he is telling a cautionary tale about the gunk and mold piling up where our food is being prepared. It is nice to have Ramsay come save the day when he makes these eateries clean up their act, but what about the places he isn’t fixing up?

Some of these diners are right here in East Texas. KLTV runs regular broadcasts of their local Restaurant Reports. This is a spot on their news casting that lets all of us know what demerits or pats on the back our local joints are getting when the health inspectors show up. Sometimes, the results make you feel like throwing up before you have even eaten the food. It is a comforting sight to see when multiple restaurants get great ratings. When the results come ranking in at high levels of foul, we all cringe.

When you feel that gut feeling that this restaurant might house repulsive conditions and stomach-churning food, STEP AWAY. Go home. Cook a meal that only your hands have touched and that can give you that ease of security. Or, do your research. Find out our local diner’s score from the health department. Check out that chain restaurant’s standards on their corporate website.

I am sure you and I will soon find ourselves back on the bathroom floor making promises to God that we will never, ever eat like that again. It is bound to happen that another instance of frightful food will occur. Life is meant to be an adventure, but I don’t know if getting that gas station sandwich is really that adventurous.

Let us know your worst dining gone bad experience.

 

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