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Myth #4: Heat kills all bacteria

Truth: Extreme and prolonged exposure to heat kills all bacteria.

If you throw it on a grill, its good to go right? If my steak has a nice char-grilled appearance on the outside its clean isn’t it? Well that may be the case. It also may be the case that every single person on the cooks line in back has touched your steak with their barehands as they pass it from storage, to grill to plating. And, hearkening back to the lesson from before, how many times in the night do you think THEY’VE washed their hands before getting to your meal?

Myth #3: My food was handled with the highest standard of cleanliness and sterilization.

Truth: My food was handled by people who don’t know or care about me.

Now, generally people who work in restaurants aren’t purposefully dropping your food, shedding their scalp on your steak or hocking loogies in your gravy ala the otherwise accurate movie, Waiting. But at the same time: if your food falls on the floor, depending on who sees it, it may go back on your plate anyway. If a hair happens to fall in your veggies, it is being picked up barehanded and removed and the plate will continue on its path to your table. And if you think there are people in the back with tongs and gloves, carefully placing your food on its plate, delicately sprinkling that cheese and bacon on to your baked potato or precisely measuring and mixing your salad together, just go on living in a dream world. In the waking world, gloves are optional and the tongs hang unused throughout the night right alongside your line cook’s unfulfilled hopes and dreams.

Myth #2: Management cares about the high standards they proclaim.

Truth: Mangers are the very people responsible for the degradation of standards.

Managers are usually a direct cause of the quality, or lack thereof, when it comes to their restaurant’s standards. In fact, people on staff who actually have a conscience can sometimes be reprimanded if they choose to break from the norm and attempt to uphold the supposed rules of the house. It is not uncommon for managers themselves to prepare food with bare hands and send it out after wiping up a smudge with a rag that previously resided on the floor. Its all about presentation, not preparation!

Myth #1: I am the only person who has touched, will touch, or taste the food on my plate.

Truth: Everyone in back may have touched, eaten or otherwise tasted your food before you.

This is number one for a reason. It may come under the various titles of “quality control”, “flavor checking” or simply “it smells good”, but that food may have already been sampled by your server or another. Ever think that your server grabbed a bit of that Bloomin’ Onion or maybe nibbled on your Supreme Nachos? Take it a step further. They may have dipped their finger in your ranch or blue cheese dressing you thought you’d dip your foods in. They may have taken a grab at your Big Red Burger to enjoy a morsel that “fell” off. They might even have taken a drink or two of your soda either because they don’t remember which one was which or simply because they’re parched. Ironically, they won’t touch your food after you’ve finished with it, but they’ll happily serve it to you after doing all manner of abominable things to it. Bon appetit.

Ignore the ugly truth, and eat up.

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