Food

Food Workers Reveal the Grossest Health Hazards They’ve Seen 

18. An Inspection Gone Wrong Mads_00  says, “I did a food safety inspection at a large slaughterhouse for a while. We did our own inspections each shift, and… Trista - July 7, 2021
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18. An Inspection Gone Wrong

Mads_00  says, “I did a food safety inspection at a large slaughterhouse for a while. We did our own inspections each shift, and the government inspector stopped by once a day too. One day, I came round a corner, and one of the workers who was running service for the butchers had dropped a ham on the floor. So, the proper way to handle this for him was to leave it there and call for a re-inspector to come to pick it up, take it out to carve off any contaminated bits and rinse it in boiling water. Now it relatively often happens that meat was dropped on the floor. It’s just very, very hard to avoid it when running in a factory setting with human labor. So this was common – what was uncommon was what the guy did.

“Thinking that no one was watching, he tried picking it up and dropped it again. He did this three times. So first and foremost, he’s not supposed to be touching anything that’s been on the floor. It contaminated his hands, and he had nowhere to put the contaminated product anyway. He then, out of pure frustration/annoyance at the unwieldy ham, dropped down on all fours and proceeded to pick up the raw, freshly cut, 6-kilo ham – by his teeth. Then, he stood up, ham dangling from his chompers – and dropped it into the tub with around 600kg of product. And he drove off with the tub for processing. He was fired a few minutes after that, and the entire tub of the product was discarded.”

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17. Taking Shortcuts Can Have Nasty Results

Babe_a_dook tells the story of their time at a popular restaurant. Keep reading to find out what happened! “I worked at a restaurant that is pretty popular here in AZ that has services adjacent to a nicer Panera. Not only did they not have any toilet cleaner – they didn’t have any sterilizing cleaners at all for use in the bathrooms. They told us to just wet the paper towels and buff the surfaces to make everything shiny. Oh. And the walls would get dirty, so when we were mopping, it was a requirement to run the disgusting mop all around the walls. It was freaking nasty. I only worked there for a few months.”

This is pretty disgusting if you ask me. How is it possible to ensure the safety of customers when you aren’t using cleaning products in the bathrooms? Just buffing everything out to make it shiny doesn’t constitute cleanliness. This is a surefire way for someone to get sick. I hope this restaurant upped its cleaning game for the safety of staff and customers alike. They need some type of cleaner with bleach to get rid of all the germs. Restaurant kitchens should be kept at a high standard of cleanliness, whether employees want to clean or not. The owners should be ashamed of themselves.

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16. Accidents Happen, But Its Still Gross

dumdadumdumAHHH says, “I did this. Only once, but it was BAD. The entire table of Naval officers was very pleasant, but when we pushed the tables together, it was a lot of people in a tight space. I came out with 8-10 large sodas on a tray. No problem, I’ve done this plenty of times before. I tripped over a chair leg. The whole tray fell, mostly on myself, but one unfortunate fellow got soda all down his back. His whole uniform was soaked, cold, and sticky. I shriveled up and died inside. He was so nice and understanding about it. He even left me a pretty good tip. I nearly cried when I picked up the check and saw that.”

“That was at the beginning of my final shift there. So, I worked another 8 hours all wet and sticky, squishing around in my shoes, smelling terrible. Right in the middle of the dinner rush, we got another huge table – a big family with kids this time. I got their drinks out (successfully!) then took a quick bathroom break between orders. The door to the bathroom was heavy and swung inward. Unbeknownst to me, a kid was standing right behind it, and she took a direct hit to the face. I heard the thump, then a shriek, then I shrieked, and the entire restaurant went completely silent. I’m still dead with shame from that shift, ten years later. I’m so sorry, Navy guy and small child.”

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15. He Got What He Asked For

Anix421 has a story to share. “I gave them what they ordered. We were a pizza/Italian/bar-restaurant. Our menu was ludicrously large, and essentially anything that was on the menu that could go on a pizza was listed as a topping, probably 40 to 50 topping choices. I would get asked pretty often for ‘a pizza with everything on it!’ I had a usual joke or two to find out what they really wanted. It was typically deluxe, but then they’d want no black olives or whatever. No big deal. Until the jerk came in and ordered ‘everything.’

“He proceeded to ask if I was stupid when I questioned him. My sister has disabilities, so I didn’t appreciate his tact. I told my boss about it, and he smiled and said, get him a pizza with everything. I brought it out and gave it to him. He flipped out and demanded the manager, of course. My manager had my back and gave the guy his bill, which at $2 a topping was well over a $100 pizza. The guy refused to pay. Cops got called, yada yada yada. I hope he enjoyed his pizza with clams, pineapple, Buffalo chicken, broccoli, anchovies, green olives, cream cheese, cauliflower, jalapeños, and shrimp.”

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14. Would You Like Flies With That?

OriginalGrizzly shares his story about a gross experience at a Chinese restaurant. Read on to find out what happened. You won’t believe this one! “I’m not a health inspector – just a regular guy with a gross story. A Chinese buffet near me was closed down because it got a 0/5 in its inspection. (I got food poisoning from there once.) The staff just got up and left. They locked the door and never went back. All the food was still out and everything. A week later, a man was walking his dog past said Chinese buffet and heard a loud buzzing noise.

“He looked through the window to see hundreds of thousands of flies that had taken over the building as their new home. It was so bad that the Pizza Hut next door had to close too. To anyone asking, this was in Gloucester, England.” This is terrible! You would think the owners of the Chinese restaurant would have at least cleaned up before they left! It must have smelled terrible there. It makes you feel bad for the Pizza Hut next door. Hopefully, the Chinese restaurant owners were fined for such a disgusting display in their restaurant. It’s unbelievable that they just decided to leave.

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13. You Can Never Eat This — Not Even Deep Fried!

WomblesMama says, “My uncle is a health inspector in rural Australia. He got several complaints about a fish and chips to shop in a small town in Victoria, with reports of it being a bit disgusting and people getting chunks of hair in their hot chips. The owner greets him and shows him around while wearing a white singlet top with sweat patches under the arms, short shorts, and no shoes. This guy’s body was covered in hair. Clearly, this must be the source of the hair in the chips. My uncle decided to make a tactful comment about having to wear appropriate clothes when working to protect against hot oil burns.

“After seeing the property and giving a few basic suggestions, the only other thing he notices that needs immediate attention is the deep fryer itself. The oil is old and filthy and likely full of this guy’s hair, so he orders the bloke to drain it out right then and there. The owner does so, and at the bottom of the oil, vat is a dead, deep-fried, and crispy cat. Totally [unfazed], the owner simply said, ‘oh, that’s where my cat went!’ He thought the cat escaped overnight and ran away. It looks like little Fluffy drowned in the deep-frying oil, and Mr. Chippy has been frying him up over and over and over again ever since. The clumps of hair locals were complaining about weren’t from the owner, but the fur and flesh of a dead cat.”

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12. A Pest Control Story

Knot_tellin tells an interesting story about their dad and time spent at a Chinese restaurant. “My dad did pest control. I went to hang out with him one night, and he took me to a Chinese food restaurant. When we were done eating, he was lingering over his tea, and I was like, “Hey Dad, looks like they’re closing up soon. I think we’re keeping the folks from getting done.” He’s cool and calm, “It’ll be fine.” So we sat there. He paid the bill, and we waited. I was so confused. Finally, they’re shutting off the lights out front, and I am losing my mind.

“I’m horrified, embarrassed, and I’m thinking, ‘These poor people.’ Finally, finally, my dad stands up and says, ‘Be right back.’ He comes back in with his pest control gear. He proceeds to treat the place ‘for their rat problem and the roaches.’ He gets me to help him carry and move stuff so he can do his job. He doesn’t see any problem with this.” I can understand why this person was upset. They just ate at this Chinese restaurant, and the dad didn’t tell them about the roaches and rats ahead of time. I’d be upset too, in that situation!

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11. No Meat, Please!

Bstudzyn shares a story about their time working in a pizzeria. You won’t believe what the owner did to a customer! Keep reading to find out what happened. “When I was in high school, I worked at a pizzeria. This Indian couple would always come in and yell at us in broken English not to put meat (especially pepperoni) on the pizza. Why would he even bring it up if he didn’t want it? Anyway, one day he came in, and my manager was having a bad day (he got angry pretty easily), and the Indian couple got in an argument with him on the phone while ordering.

“This couple would also come in often and laugh at us while muttering in Indian. My manager decided that he was going to get back at them, so he took a giant stack of pepperoni and other meat and hid it under the cheese throughout the pizza. He gladly served it to them, and they never came in again.” It’s never a good idea to mess with people’s food, no matter what they do to you. It’s possible they were vegans, vegetarians, or allergic to some types of meats. You never know what a person goes through behind closed doors, so it’s essential to be respectful and understanding, even if voices are raised.

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10. They Are Probably Divorced After This Burger Interaction

Reddit user 0w1 says, “The same thing happened to me when I was a cashier at a gourmet burger place. A guy came in and wanted a burger ‘with everything on it.’ I pointed out the giant list of toppings on the wall menu, but he scoffed and reiterated that he wanted everything. I read off each topping on the screen as I added it to his sandwich. This sopping beast included guacamole, fried egg, fried pickles, mushrooms, peanut butter, regular pickles, cranberries, chili, a fried chicken patty, cucumbers, jalapenos, bell pepper, balsamic marinated tomatoes, habaneros, sprouts, every kind of cheese (bleu, goat, nacho dip sauce included) and every kind of sauce (including tartar, buffalo, truffle mayo and balsamic). He happily paid around $30 for it.

“It honestly looked and smelled like a pile of vomit with a bun placed haphazardly on top. While he was waiting, he mentioned that it was for his ‘pregnant brat of a wife’ that was craving a burger ‘with everything on it,’ and this was his way of basically punishing her for making him miss part of a football game on TV.” What a terrible thing to do to your pregnant wife! She can’t help that she’s carrying your child and has cravings. The employee should have done something after the customer said who the burger was for. The pregnant woman deserved better.

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9. Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider!

Not_a_Terminator tells a crazy story involving a tarantula. Keep reading to find out what happens! “I’m not a health inspector, but I worked as an assistant cook in a restaurant. Two weeks into the job, I opened a cupboard to get a can of tomato sauce, and I saw a huge tarantula scuttling away behind the cans. I told the boss what I had seen so that maybe we should get someone to deal with the huge spider living in the kitchen. Boss turns to me and says, ‘I see you’ve met Eduardo. Just don’t put your hand too close to him, and you’ll be good.’

“Later, another cook proceeded to explain to me that the spider had been living there for two years, and they allowed it because he kept rodents and roaches away. This is a true story. So know this Reddit, every time that you think about swatting a spider, remember that there is a possibility that a friendly spider is guarding your favorite restaurant’s food against nasty critters.” Spiders have no place in a restaurant kitchen, even if they keep bugs and rodents away. The restaurant owner should have known better. A health inspector would have given them a citation if they found the tarantula.

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8. A Gross Restaurant Owner

Inukuro says, “I’m not a health inspector, but my mom used to work at this restaurant where the owner just did not give a crap. It was a Mexican restaurant, and my mom told me that once a lady came in asking for Caldo de res (beef soup), but they didn’t have any more meat (at least not the one used for that dish). They were about to let the lady know when the owner stepped up and told the lady that her food would be right out. The server and my mom were both confused as to what she was going to do.

“Well, this lady goes and literally digs through the freaking trash and pulls out some beef (some still with bone). She then ran it through water, cooked it, and served it to that poor lady. My mom says the lady was even sucking the bone, and she almost felt sick watching. My mom quit that job soon after.” This is terrible! What an awful thing to do to a customer. If you don’t have something on the menu, just tell the customer instead of doing something disgusting like this. The poor customer didn’t deserve to be treated that way. It’s awful!

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7. A Two-For-One Sponge Is Disgusting

Reddit user Ignoramusaurus shares a gross story about their time at a holiday camp. “I didn’t work in fast food, but I think this is the kind of thing you are looking for: I was working at a holiday camp in France: the first day of training, my manager showed me how to clean the caravans. At one point, the line ‘and now you will see me clean the kitchen with the sponge I just used to clean the toilet!’ came up. The guys I worked with all used one sponge and went from the loo to rinsing the plates, etc.

“Also, I was working at a banqueting hall that does expensive events such as international rugby awards, weddings, etc. There are a certain amount of bottles on each table that have been bought by whoever is hosting the event. At the end of the night, we had to tip them back into bottles to be sold behind the bar. One time a guy “opened” a new, expensive bottle with a flourish, and a cigarette fell out into the glass as he poured it. We were forced to fish out the cigarette and sell the bottle behind the bar. It was so gross!”

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6. Messing With Customers Is Never Appropriate

Autumn silver says, “I was a Shift Manager for a very popular fast-food chain. We had a customer who would always come in and demand fresh french fries and a fresh fish sandwich with extra tartar sauce. Every time he got his sandwich, he would complain that the tartar sauce was bad and that we had to replace it with a new, unopened one and prove to him that the sauce wasn’t expired. One day, one of the high school kids was working in the kitchen and, while he was used to some of the shenanigans this guy pulled, apparently that day, nothing was right for him. After the third time remaking his sandwich and wasting two tubes of tartar sauce, the employee decided to mess with this guy.

“He took one of the tubes of tartar sauce and a cup to the back storage room, out of sight of any cameras, and proceeded to masturbate in the cup and add tartar sauce to the mix. When he brought the new ‘special’ sandwich to the customer, the customer was elated and ate every bit of the sandwich, even licking the sauce off the wrapper. After that, he insisted that that employee make his sandwich because ‘he was the only competent cook who could properly make a fish sandwich.’ Needless to say, he didn’t tell anyone about it until he had been doing it for over two weeks. The employee was fired over the incident.”

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5. An Angry Chef Displays Gross, Toxic Behavior

Reddit user Laurie says, “This was many years ago, and it wasn’t fast food, but a 4-star restaurant. We had pretty much shut down the line. It was probably 15 minutes too close, and a couple came in. Some of the stuff had already been thrown out (rice and such). These two customers order a filet, which comes with veg and rice as sides. The red seal chef is livid and does two things. 1. Kicks the filet under the line and out the other side. If any of you have ever worked in a restaurant, you know how often the line gets moved and cleaned.

“2. He had already thrown the rice in the trash, so he walked to the garbage while saying to me, ‘You didn’t see me do this, and proceeded to get enough rice out for the side dishes. The customer got fresh veg though, so I guess that’s okay.'”Just because a customer comes in late doesn’t mean it’s okay to mess with their food. I can understand wanting to go home and being so excited about it, but it doesn’t mean something like that is okay. You don’t always get what you want. The chef should have never disrespected a customer like that.

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4. He Wanted Hot, And That’s What He Got!

Remotetissuepaper shares a story about his dad that will make you laugh. This story isn’t nearly as gross as the others, but it is a reminder not to mess with the people who prepare your food. “My dad started going to his neighborhood pub frequently for wing nights and would ask for wings “as hot as you can make them.” It went on for quite a while with them just dousing them with as much Frank Red Hot as you could possibly fit on them because that’s all they had for making hot wings. Things would change, though! He got what he asked for.

“Well, I guess eventually the cook got sick of being asked for ‘as hot as you can make ’em’ and acquired some special ingredients. Next time my dad asked for “as hot as you can make them” he got a dozen wings spicy enough to strip paint off the space shuttle. My dad went back to just asking for plain hot or extra hot from then on.” This funny story could have ended differently if the person cooking the food was someone different. The chef wanted to make a statement and got back at this person’s father for ordering such spicy wings.

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3. The Way A Disgruntled Customer Treats Restaurant Staff Is Pretty Gross

Youwillnevagetdis shares a story about their time in the restaurant industry. Keep reading to find out what happens! “One time, we had a woman call back because her rotisserie chicken was ‘burned.’ I explained it’s just charred because of the way it’s cooked. She didn’t have it, so we agreed to get her a new one. Ten minutes after her husband left, she called back even angrier, saying this one was worse. We told her to send her husband back again for a new one. The manager and I went in back (with gloves on) and scraped off all the ‘burned’ parts.

“Another ten minutes go by after he leaves, and she calls AGAIN, but this time her rice didn’t have any craisins on it. So, once again, I tell her to send him back. I dumped so many craisins on that rice that I think she got the point. We never heard from/saw them again. I know it’s not super gross, but it’s pretty rare to see someone maliciously mess with someone’s food. I have seen cooks use the five-second rule when dropping food or not washing hands, but that’s about it in my seven years in the industry.”

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2. A Hungry Cow At What?!

Chamale shares a funny story about their stepdad’s bakery. “My stepdad used to be a baker in an authentic recreation of an 18th century New French fortress. Since they sell bread to the public, the health inspector came by, and she was ripping into my stepdad for violations like the stonework walls, the doorless entrance ways, or the lack of a mosquito zapper. He pointed out that they were following the highest standards except for things that would destroy the authenticity of this 18th-century bakery. The health inspector relented and agreed to give him a pass after verifying the food storage area was secure.

“They went to the shed, which was a doorless building attached to the bakery. As the health inspector went in, there happened to be an escaped cow licking all of the loaves. My stepdad could only say, ‘Honestly, this never happens.’ They passed the health inspection.” This is a funny story. The cow just happened to be in there with all the loaves of bread when the health inspector showed up. To add insult to injury, the cow had licked all of the loaves of bread. Hopefully, the health inspector had a sense of humor for this fun experience! It just goes to show that you should always expect the unexpected.

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1. They Had A Really Gross Problem

Straelbora says, “I had a health inspector tell me this story: there was a family in which both the elderly mother and a handicapped sibling used wheelchairs while another sibling lived in the house with them and did all the driving, etc. The health department got a phone call from the local wheelchair company. The brother stopped by and picked up a new, custom-built wheelchair for his sister and for his mother and returned within about 30 minutes, saying that the sister’s wheelchair hadn’t been made to the right specifications; it was too small. After he left, the staff noticed several roaches on the chair, so the guy I met got a call.

“It was summer, and the house was all locked up with no open windows for ventilation, curtains were drawn, etc. The inspector entered the house, and he said it was so stiflingly hot that he started to get dizzy and, he thought, hallucinated. He said that there was a sound like leaves rustling in the fall, and the walls and floors were kind of vibrating. Then, he realized it was because they were literally covered in roaches. He immediately evacuated the three people living there, and the next day, they tented and sprayed the house. So he went in and said that the dead roaches were about two and a half feet deep in most parts of the house.”

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