Should I say something

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Hi, new to posting on the forum here but have read it for a while

I started a new cooking job last week and would like some advice

Chef made a basic stew and let it sit on the counter for two hours to cool. It never went into the blast chiller or walkin and got quarted after about two hours

There's a couple things in the walkin that have mold on them (vegetables). But most of product is labeled and normal

It seems like there's a bunch of possibility for people to get sick but the kitchen overall is clean. Haven't been here long enough

I pride myself on following basic food safety guidelines but am not sure if I am over-reacting or maybe this is just how it goes

NYC bar restaurant that does probably 1K food liquor average day. Can't really talk to the owners now just chef and sous and am too new to say anything to second. Not sure if its better to soldier on or say something or just try and do my own thing for food safety. Thanks for any advice

-Dan
 
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What happened after it was quartered?

Into containers and then sealed and dated and into the walk in?

Did you (or anyone else) temp it every so often?

There are ways to cool off a big pot o'whatever besides the chiller.

In fact there are several threads with nothing else...maybe read a couple and then the next time just....do it.

No one should need permission to engage in food safety .... in fact I really like it when someone demonstrates initiative.

Now go throw out that moldy crap...be sure to document for FC.

mimi

Forgot to say....welcome to Chef Talk!

m.
 
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I wouldn't say anything, I would just do... go quietly about correcting potential food safety issues. It probably won't take long before someone says something, then you can mention how you were just following standard protocols for safety and sanitation. The direction things go from there will speak volumes, but you didn't bring it up, so no negative juju should velcro to you.
 
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At this point it's really not up to you to point out anything. It's up to the Chef and Sous to setup sanitation and Daily operating procedures........OK, I said it, now this is what I would do..........To cut through the nice nice bullshit answer like I just gave you. If something is wrong in the kitchen, It's wrong. If something is moldy throw it away. If something is outdated then either use it or throw it. I expect my cooks, pantry or whoever is working in the kitchen to make decisions. If someone yells at you for throwing  away a moldy item in the refer your working for the wrong person........Good Luck........ChefBillyB

Two hours is to long to leave stew out on the counter. They wasted two of the six house they have to get the stew down to the right temp. If a dense stew is left on the counter to cool I bet it would burn you finger of you stuck it in the middle of the pan. Your right, it's not right........
From hot temperatureCool to 70º F within two 2 hours; cool to 41º F or below within 4 more hours (6 hours total)
From room temperatureCool to 41º F within 4 hours
 
  • Do not cool at room temperature. 
  • Use a blast chiller or ice bath to hasten cooling. 
  • Divide food into small units or use a shallow pan.
 
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It was good advice to lay low for a minute and to continue to follow protocol.  I understand your concerns on all levels as being the new person, you can't always express criticisms or concerns for something that was wasn't standard practices.  Good luck to you!   
 
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All thanks for the advice. Found out in the last couple days the walkin is nowhere near 38.It's like 46 I was told it's temporaray and that's why it's ok to keep food out and it should be handled in your "best judgement for now" so this might be the issue. I don't want anything to do with stupid practices if i can help it and temporary seems like a 24hr thing or so but I don't own a restaurant

@flipflopgirl it's now happened a couple times today.2 stews 2x10lb bag onions, 3 tomato cans peppers mas sitting there after but covered for hours. kitchen is prob 70deg avg. I haven't seen a thermometer in this kitchen yet. This asks me another question- when chef says "yknow just do it" i kind of know what he means. but i can make most anything and i don't know if thats how he wants it or the owner wants it or the second wants it. i just want to make good things and consistnecy is the only way to me. i thought i would hear this after about 6 or 12 months before the recipe cards and tasting and showing and having a consensus but every cook here so far has a diffenert take. there's no way i can say anything to anyone here right now they are all telling me "this is how it goes". TY for the hello

@cheflayne thanks. that is what i have been doing. the moldy stuff is still there . it's shallots and squashes and fruits. night sous scraped some small molds off of a sauce and said it's ok before going into southern trio. I didnt know what to say. i thought he either didn't understand or i didn't understand or he had to because

@ChefBillyB TY sir. I got an earful from chef tonight about how to be part of the crew. About how if you're going to clean you need to do it. I really wanted to ask him if the mold on the blast chiller door should be cleaned or it was part of the plan

One of the owners walked out of the bathrroom yesterady and didn't wash his hands. Went back to expediting. Maybe i missed it. Think chef got drunk later. Maybe I missed it or am being overdramatic. Naw he got drunk and walked back in. Decided to gut whiskey breathe his 8th grade kitchen theory out loud. Sorry for the rant been a tough couple days back in but thanks again for the advice.

-Dan
 
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While I don't understand everything you've written about your situation, I will offer some advice. 

You've told us that the kitchen is generally clean and most items in the walk in are labeled. So it's not a complete mess, correct? 

     First, No one can legitimately yell at you for doing the right thing.   As ChefBillyB has pointed out, you are expected to 
do more than simply notice problems. So, if you see mold on the blast chiller door, Clean it off. If there is something

that isn't being cooled properly, go find the appropriate pans and make it correct. If you see food left out on the counter, put it away. Don't make observations without action. 
One of the owners walked out of the bathrroom yesterady and didn't wash his hands. Went back to expediting. Maybe i missed it. Think chef got drunk later. Maybe I missed it or am being overdramatic. Naw he got drunk and walked back in. Decided to gut whiskey breathe his 8th grade kitchen theory out loud. Sorry for the rant been a tough couple days back in but thanks again for the advice.

-Dan
Did the owner not wash his hands? Did the chef really get drunk?  Maybe you missed it?  Are you observing actual bad practices or making up things to complain about? 

A warm walk in is temporary if the repair people have been called and the repair is scheduled. If the walk in isn't repaired by now, that's a problem. If it is repaired, these things happen. 

 So be an active participant in making things correct. If you can find a job in a better kitchen, do so. But in the meantime, be helpful. 
 
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Dan, your right about the walk-in refer, that s/b top priority and fixed ASAP. What your going through may not be the norm but it's also not unusual. There are only two people who will change the sanitation of the kitchen. The owner and or the health inspector. Just remember when the sh-t hits the fan it splashes down hill. The Chef and Sous will blame the cooks for not doing their job. IMHO and after working, Managing, Chefing, owning over 25 restaurant and or food services, It's not going to change by itself. If you were the Sous you could change it because your in a position to meet with the Chef and explain your concerns and how you can address it, and change it. If you walk in as a cook there is no chance in the world you can change whats going on. I figure going to the owner won't make a difference. Calling the Health Dept will get the kitchen cleaned temporally but things will go back to normal quickly. It's hard to change bad habits and old ways of the Chef. Learn what you can from this operation and move on. Realize, your not going to change them so just go with the flow until you get something else. This is a lesson well learned even if it's not a positive learning experience.......Good luck Dan.........ChefBillyB
 
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Joined Mar 14, 2017
 
While I don't understand everything you've written about your situation, I will offer some advice. 

You've told us that the kitchen is generally clean and most items in the walk in are labeled. So it's not a complete mess, correct? 

     First, No one can legitimately yell at you for doing the right thing.   As ChefBillyB has pointed out, you are expected to 
do more than simply notice problems. So, if you see mold on the blast chiller door, Clean it off. If there is something

that isn't being cooled properly, go find the appropriate pans and make it correct. If you see food left out on the counter, put it away. Don't make observations without action. 

Did the owner not wash his hands? Did the chef really get drunk?  Maybe you missed it?  Are you observing actual bad practices or making up things to complain about? 

A warm walk in is temporary if the repair people have been called and the repair is scheduled. If the walk in isn't repaired by now, that's a problem. If it is repaired, these things happen. 

 So be an active participant in making things correct. If you can find a job in a better kitchen, do so. But in the meantime, be helpful. 
Thanks @chefwriter for the advice and input

The kitchen is not a complete mess and i say maybe i missed it b/c am
well aware that i don't know or see everything. But they absolutely can
yell at me or anyone legitimate or not. Group psychology of the new guy
in a situation seems missing in the response. Can you recommend how you
would or did approach a similar situation with a face to face semi aggro
exec about a mold there longer than your tenure?

Am trying everything i can think of to help (like since we threw out
a bunch of moldy product (not directly started by myslef but was happy
to help) and gave the chiller a good scrub sanitize) also am posting to
a peer forum asking for advice :))

-Dan
 
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I'm not sure what you're looking for. Group psychology of the new guy? Face to face semi aggro exec? 

     I'll tell you this story. The first job I had out of culinary school was working "broiler" on a five man line in a busy restaurant in New Orleans French Quarter. I was the only non-local in the kitchen.

I stood in front of a 500 Degree convection oven for eight hours, cooking duck, red snapper and assorted other stuff. 

      The temperature outside was about 90-100 degrees with high humidity most of the time. My uniform was completely soaked by my own sweat within an hour of working.  During my entire shift, the chef standing on the other end of the line would take every opportunity to yell down the line making loud derogatory statements about my suitability as a cook, the failure of the school to teach me anything, wondering why I would bother going to school, wondering if I actually graduated, question what he had done to deserve the torture of my presence and any other insulting thing he could come up with. This went on night after night after night after night. I showed up on time every day, did the job and shut my mouth. I learned everything I could, despite the commentary. I knew he thought I was a weak, suburban kid from up north and he was going to see how long it took to break me. I decided I would never quit until he shut up, just to piss him off. No matter what he did, I wasn't going anywhere. 

    On one occasion we did a record number of dinners and the only problem I had was that the kitchen steward didn't replenish my supply of snapper fast enough so the one order was a few minutes late.  Despite the fact that I was actually able to keep up all night and actually knocked it out of the park, he was not going to give me credit. "It was almost a perfect night, except for that one mistake on your part". He just wasn't going to give me any credit under any circumstances. 

This went on for about four months. Then one night, as if there was nothing unusual about it, the chef invited me to go with him and the rest of the crew to Bourbon St. for a beer. We sat on the sidewalk sipping our large beers, chatting and watching the tourists walk by. Nothing was said but I knew it was over. I've never had a beer I enjoyed as much as that one. 

I can continue this with more stories about every place I ever worked and the different challenges I faced in each one over the past thirty years since then. I found plenty of things I did not like about every single job. But I'll shorten all that by saying what I've learned. 

     I learned to expect to get the bejeesus kicked out of me physically and mentally every day I spend in a kitchen. I don't question the chef. I say "Yes, Chef."  If the chef doesn't like the results of my work, I do it over and I listen the criticism. If I see something is dirty, I do not hesitate to clean it. If something is not correct and it is within my power to correct it, I don't wait to be told, I just correct it. I do the job I'm paid to do and if there is more work, then I do that too. If I am able to, I offer to help anyone else near me. I have learned to maintain my standards. Despite what others may do, I will do the job to the best of my ability all the time. I will do the right thing, not the easy thing. 

What doesn't kill me makes me stronger. So bring on the busy nights, the tough jobs no one wants, the high pressure, the criticism of my efforts. I'm not going anywhere and if I die at my post, so be it. 

Is that what you wanted to hear?
 
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Thanks Chef. Got tomorrow off and will check the walkin next in. Probably that

chef just couln't get there in since last week. Either way i am leaning towards

resolution with given advice. Day off always helps give perspective and thanks

-Dan
 
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will check the walkin next in. Probably that

chef just couln't get there in since last week.

-Dan
Why does there always have to be an excuse?

The walk in is dirty so go clean it up, document every scrap tossed out (along with how much) date and sign it.

Place it on whoever's desk and walk away.

Waiting for a pat on the head diminishes the deed.

Adults should not need praise for doing the right thing.

Enjoy the day off..go back...and kick butt...'cuz that's just the kinda guy you are.

Right?

/img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif

mimi
 
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