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My Back of the House Horror Story

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You know you're a true inspector if you said the following:
1. I will never eat out again
2. I will never ask for ice in my soda again
3. I will never assume people wash their hands after going to the bathroom
4. I will never assume the dishes I eat from have been sanitized
5. I will never ever ever ever ever eat out again!

I thought I would start by washing my hands. A good start, right? Except the sink reminded me of a sink you would find in a public park bathroom and rarely do I find those to be a refreshing experience.

Taking a deep breath didn't help since the kitchen stunk, but either way I had to move on. I began my audit with the grill areas. I found that the (un)cleanliness of the sink carried over to the grill. Cleaners and grill brushes must not be part of the routine. The thickness of the charred food residue and it was exactly 1/4 of an inch deep (I measured) and the vent was so badly clogged that not even a molecule of oxygen could pass by. In shock, I took pictures to document the unbelievable crime scene. I couldn't believe that they could actually be used to prepare food for human consumption. It wasn't possible that a manager would allow it, right?

I thought things couldn't get worse until I found that the gap between the drainage pipe and the floor drain was occupied by (believe it or not) a colander! One that was filled with dirt, oil, hair and moldy food. When I cried I asked "Why?" my response was a blank stare with tear filled eyes.

The cooling area included: expired and decomposing foods, masking tape used for labels and a not a thermometer to be found.

Dry storage inspection identified open boxes of baking mixes, containers with who knows what inside them, foods stored on floor near the nearly open back door (were they looking for new squirrel chefs?), fresh produce left to sit on a dusty shelf, cleaning products on top of foods, you name it was there right for me to cite!

The inspection left me seven pages of printed reports. I think the manager suspected he had a few violations because he started to sob when he saw all of those pages. Needless to say, he wasn't really interested in an exit interview. It was on this day that I realized the world needs true inspectors. It is in seeing the kitchen nightmares that we recognize the valuable work we do, even if it means witnessing the unbelievable, the horrifying, and utterly disgusting kitchens that serve food to innocent consumers. A true inspector takes deep breathes (of unclean air) and goes about their job, regardless of whether it is the best or the worst of kitchens. I have just learned that a long, hot shower when I get home can wash away the horrors of the day.
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