How dirty is your cook?

Ever since I started working at the hot dog carts, I feel my sense of health/sanitation has been heightened–not that I was not cautious of germs/being clean and sanitized before the job. Still, especially in food service, I believe the most important thing about the job(s) is to be very clean and reduce the risk of germ-contamination as much as possible. Some ways to do so is:

– Never touch the food with bare hands, even if hands are clean. Handle with a cooking utensil or with plastic gloves over hands.

– Never let food touch a public surface (countertop, etc.) or else it is contaminated.

– Never pick up trash/things off the ground with bare hands and then use hands to handle food–even if handling food is with a cooking utensil! Germs could transfer through the utensil.

There are many other ways to reduce germ contamination, but these are a few starters.

I bring up this topic mainly because of an incident my boss had at a “dive” burger joint he went to earlier in the weekend. He said he watched (with sheer horror) as the cook behind the counter took out UNREFRIGERATED, raw chicken breasts, throw the meat onto the grill with his bare hands, and then, without washing his hands, proceed to arrange the garnish setup (tomato, lettuce, etc.).

Unfortunately for my boss, he got food poisoning from such an incident; fortunately, he’s okay now.

Just goes to show–if possible, watch how the cook handles your food next time you eat out!