Has anyone seen/heard-of tampering with food in food establishments?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by lasagnaburrito, Jan 23, 2016.

  1. lasagnaburrito

    lasagnaburrito

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    I was curious if anyone has ever seen, or heard of tampering with food, i.e., spitting in food, etc.

    I'm sure many have seen the movie "Waiting," and that showed all sorts of "horror" within a food establishment, but probably very exaggerated; however, I did hear one time that this guy I knew was working at a place, and some HS "friends" of his was making fun of him or something, so he said he told the waiter to spit in their butter.  Granted, this guy was a POS all around, and has done other dirty things, so I wouldn't put it past HIM...

    But I'm curious about other things?  

    Personally, I'm always very polite to my server, but I tend to be polite to ANYONE who is doing me a "service," because who wants to "serve" or "Do something" for someone who's a rude person?

    I have a feeling the answers are going to be a mix of "you can get in serious trouble if caught tampering with food," but at the same time I feel that some might have some stories to tell...

    Curious for those who have worked in food establishments...  Thank you.
     
  2. chefbuba

    chefbuba

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    Waiting was a documentry, the Bat Wing and Goat are popular in many kitchens.
     
  3. meezenplaz

    meezenplaz

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    It happens much more in fast food places, because in a  restaurant you have a built in "buffer" by 

    the fact that the server "stands between" you and the one directly manipulating your food. 

    Whereas in fast food they're more or less one "team"--so if you piss off the counter person, the "cooks" 

    can hear it all and get retaliation FOR them by f-ing with your meal. I knew one teen working fast 

    food who did this on a regular basis-- usually to get back at a complaining customer, especially one 

    who complained to the manager. But other times to "impress" a young girl coworker who was "upset"

    at the way a custom,er treated her. Kind of like sending her big brother after a rude guy to rough

    him up a bit.

    That said, it also happens in restaurants for similar reasons. But its far more risky in a full service place.

    All this is just one reason that more and more establishments are installling cameras in virtually EVERY

    space in the building. Problem is, even when caught red handed on tape, here in California anyway,

    more employers than ever are afraid to fire an employee, for fear of being sued. And the video evidence

    no longer gets the case automatically thrown out, (sometimes isnt even allowed) and despite being an

    "at will" state in terms of emplaoyment, they can, and do, still WIN. 

    Aside from deliberate malicious practices like food tampering, there are far more instances of often horrendous

    practices due to negligence, ignorance, or just simple laziness. For instance, one place I worked on the line, 

    the very first night I worked, the one "training me" showed me a small spatula hanging on the wall near the line, 

    that they used to spread a thick sauce on a pastry product. It was sticky stuff, so after they were done with it 

    they "cleaned" it by wiping it on the side of the trash can....and hung it back on the hook. This practice certainly

    was easier and quicker for them than cleaning or wiping it, and it all seemed perfectly normal to them./img/vbsmilies/smilies/surprised.gif  **

    ** (@Nicko, we really NEED a "turning green" or a "regurgitating" emoticon in here. It's a matter of self-expression! /img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif  )
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2016
  4. lasagnaburrito

    lasagnaburrito

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    So it happens a lot then?  Not too sure what the "Bat Wing" and "Goat " are.. do tell?
    but wouldn't the server tell the cooks that they were pissed off at an order, and then the same thing happen?  But I guess if you "hear" it happens, you can do everything yourself, without having to "get caught" by someone else who might snitch.

    It's sad that employers are scared to fire people, and it's sad that lawsuits happen.  It's pathetic that people would mess with food at all.

    I partly asked this question, because yesterday I received a sandwich from a place that was poorly cooked, wasn't made how I asked and they left a nice little piece of plastic inside, which I found almost at the end of eating one half of the sandwich.

    The manager was all "what's wrong with it?" in a pretty rude tone, and told me that they can only replace, and not refund me, since I called the next day (I had ordered when they were closing so they were closed by the time I would have called).


    I notice that the quality of food is usually a lot worse when ordering later on in the evening, compared to more busier times.

    I've heard there are "A and B" staff in the kitchen and B staff usually hits the "slow" hours.

    It's a shame that fast food people do this too, there's a Taco Bell near me that has been really poor a lot of times I've tried it, and made my stomach feel like crap sometimes (sometimes for a couple of days).  Wasn't food poisoning as someone in my family got very sick once from that, but Idk....


    I feel less and less wanting to eat out lately.  I was going to go replace teh burger today, but I live about 45 mins round trip, and dind't want to spend over an hour dealing with these people, so I went for Chinese... Granted I once found a piec eof Steel Wool in my Lo Mein, I still do come back to this place...  Granted I do believe it was another 9:30 meal trip which caused the steel wool (most likely I had ordered after they already cleaned their cooking stations).  I didn't tell them about it, because I was going to just stop going, but that didn't work lol oh wells...

    I need to learnt o cook more it seems :).

    As you said there seems to be a lot of "Carelessness"; in some kitchens, which is a damn shame...

    Wiping it on the garbage can?  That's disgusting....

    How often do inspectors come to check this knd of stuff out anywways?


    Thanks for the advice~!
     
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2016
  5. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    In my 40 years in this business, the short and honest answer from my experience is...no. The closest I have come to anything like that is hearing tales like..I knew a guy, who worked with a guy, who told him about a guy, who saw another guy that... yada yada yada.
     
  6. neworleanscookj

    neworleanscookj

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      I've never seen anyone ever mess with anyone's food, except maybe not putting much effort into a refire for a dumb reason. I've seen alot more of cooks keeping sent back food, for instance one place I worked at two filet mignons came back untouched because they were not supposed to have béarnaise sauce (Server error by the way). We refired the order and I was "Technically" supposed to throw them away. "Yes chef! I'll get rid of it chef!" /img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif Straight to a box to a ducked out corner of dry storage that is. That night I walked home eating a 68 dollar filet mignon sandwich on french bread with extra béarnaise /img/vbsmilies/smilies/thumb.gif.

      Corporate run restaurants almost always throw food away even if its only been set on the table for a moment. At family run restaurants I seen owners chowing down on osso bucco that a tourist that ate to much of the first and second courses so they only took a few bites and couldn't take it to go because they were at a hotel. "Baby! Whatcha doin'! Baby! That's gooood stuff! Put that in the office for me son!" lol, I miss that boss, he was like a shorter heavier jay leno who owned an Italian restaurant lol.
     
  7. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm not saying that it doesn't happen, because I know of documented instances where it has happened, but I think the concept is much more wide spread than the actual deeds.  As I cook, we talked about it a lot, but never did (and never would) anything in all actuality.  While we might have talked about doing it, we took way too much pride in what we put out to ever pull a stunt like that.  I can honestly say that I never took part, or even saw, anything that comes close to that.
     
  8. meezenplaz

    meezenplaz

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    Methinks you were born under a lucky star Chef! 
     
  9. meezenplaz

    meezenplaz

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    Well as I say in my experience its mostly young people doing this crap, and mostly occuring at fast food places. 

    If I was a general manager of such a place I would fire for that on the spot, but that's me. 
     
  10. ordo

    ordo

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    One of the reasons i stay away from restaurantes. The others being: food quality, lack of cleanliness, high prices and noisy environments. 
     
  11. lasagnaburrito

    lasagnaburrito

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    Yeah, I guess it's where you go, but it sucks you don't get to see things going on in a kitchen.  Kitchens should all be open view.

    This Chinese Takeout I got last night has their kitchen right in plain view, so people can watch them, granted, the "cleanliness" is something you sometimes cannot see.


    I usuallky do takeout to avoid the BS...
     
  12. lasagnaburrito

    lasagnaburrito

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    Interestingly enough I just read a review that said their family got sick, and their response was they served over 1k people that day, and they were the only ones to complain...

    Was a day or so after my order, but doesn't really make me feel that good (Granted I didn't get sick... but still).  The Fajita I had was okay, but part of it definitely didn't taste "right," but I think it was just too much spices or something, but it definitely was weird... I probably shouldn't have eaten it.  We got a few orders of Fajitas also, they all seemed to have the "most is okay, some tastes a bit funky..."  Meat DIDN'T SMELL just tasted weird....  Meh  I should be okay I guess, I figure I would be sick now since it's been a few days.

    I wonder if I could just contact my bank to get this straightened out, because the only thing I see on their site is a contact form which has a bunch of questions and such, which I don't know if that will yield any results.
     
  13. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    I am certainly not trying to stand up for shoddy or questionable operations, merely pointing out a common misconception that can sometimes cause a bad light to be erroneously shined on undeserving quality establishments...

    most people when they suffer from a food borne illness point the finger of blame at the last place they ate...

    the vast majority of food borne illnesses have an onset time frame of 12 hours or greater...

    for some food borne illnesses the onset time frame is measured in days not hours...
     
  14. lasagnaburrito

    lasagnaburrito

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    Yeah, I've heard of this also, which I'm hoping doesn't mean I will get sick... :'(....  I'm assuming that these people posted the review a few days after their meal, which could mean the same day I got my food......

    I don't feel sick, I just kind of am very tired the last few days, sometimes a headache, and past couple of nights had bad sleep...  But no stomach issues, or nothing like what happened to another family member....

    A family member of mine got extremely sick from a Chinese Buffet we ate at that apparently started serving "raw" sushi, which he ate, and I did not.  They had been bed ridden for days, had a 102F fever, and had diarrhea like no tomorrow...

    I also noticed them spraying the area around the sushi, with windex.  Literally spraying in between the food trays, and then clearning around them...  Disgusting....

    Did what I post above about the meat I encountered sound odd?

    I should have just not eaten any of it, but when hungry, we eat.... :(.  I also didn't want to have to deal with the entire meal being bad, and I try to be less "Confrontational" about these things, but now it's kind of pissing me off/upsetting me... :(((((

    I feel like no more eating out for me (except chinese takeout :)   ).

     
     
  15. planethoff

    planethoff

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    In many years working in restaurants, I have never witnessed an intentional tampering of food served to a guest but have seen some pretty bad stuff happen from laziness or lack of concern for their job. From using stuff dropped on floor, not fully clean dishes, questionable product storage and sanitation procedures, etc. Whenever I found myself working in an establishment that tolerated things like that, I would quickly find a new gig. I have seen it at almost every level of service and I don't think youthful staff or inexpensive places are particularly suspect. It all lies with management and ownership. This is why I am very picky about where I choose to dine. I thoroughly comb over all of their available past health inspection reports before even considering trying the place. It also helps to have been behind the scenes enough that you can spot certain "minor" infractions that can reflect an underlying major problem.
     
  16. lasagnaburrito

    lasagnaburrito

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    Thanks for this.  I agree that if management isn't tough on it, then it will continue to happen.

    I definitely should be more wary about this.  I have been very wary of what I've been putting into my body lately, and trying to not eat out a lot and cook more, but I really have no idea what to make :(....

    This whole situation with the plastic from the cheese, and even now the Fajita not being "good" is an issue, but I'm hoping it was more spices, since again, I feel that ithe entire thing would have been bad, but maybe the "other flavors" were canceling out the meat flavor too much, but honestly, if there was bad meat, I should have been able to smell it, and it should taste really foul, throughout... right?  Granted I also ripped apart every piece of meat to get rid of all the fat, so maybe some pieces were bad?  Idk..  thoughts?


    I do really like the idea of health inspection reports.  Is there a site or something that I can look at this. or should I just Google <Establishment> "Health Inspection Reports" or "Health Infraction?"

    Thanks a lot for your tips!
     
  17. planethoff

    planethoff

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    http://www.foodsafetynews.com/restaurant-inspections-in-your-area/#.VqUxga88KK0
     
  18. lasagnaburrito

    lasagnaburrito

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  19. brianshaw

    brianshaw

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    When in high school I worked a fast food burger joint. There were always stories about disgruntled employees peeing in the pickle bucket... But all seemed like urban legend. Kids got fired for theft and laziness, but in 4 years there I never heard of anyone fired for food tampering.
     
  20. lasagnaburrito

    lasagnaburrito

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    Pickle bucket? haha wtf...  Not a jar... but a bucket...?