What Do We Really Expose Ourselves To When Eating Out?

December 13, 2007

First there was Hell’s Kitchen. Did you ever watch that?

Now there is Kitchen Nightmares. Have you watched that? It is where Chef Ramsay basically takes over a real restaurant and yells at the owner(s) and chef(s) until he’s red in the face. Only to eventually break down whomever is standing in the way of progress and then Ramsay gets the job done. Well, I haven’t seen any follow-up shows, so who really knows if he gets the job done?

Both shows feature Chef Gordon Ramsay, probably a really nice guy as long as you never have to deal with anything food related with him.

Anyhow, to get to my point…

I’ve watched this show, Kitchen Nightmares, only twice thus far. Both kitchens in question were quite terribly disgusting. I mean Nasty!

Mostly it was in the walk-in refrigerator. Old containers with mold growing in them, some food decomposed beyond recognition. Water was dripping from a ceiling in one of the refrigerators! Simply nasty!

These two restaurants were pretty nice dining establishments. They both looked pretty nice in the dining area. And I imagine their prices were in the upper end of the average spectrum. Maybe they were considered 3-star? 4-star? I dunno.

Now I’ve always heard and believed that “if you knew what went on in the kitchen of a restaurant, you wouldn’t even eat there.” Or simply, “you don’t even want to know what goes on back there.” Watching Kitchen Nightmares, it certainly seems pretty bad.

These restaurant owners must have known they were going to be on TV, right? Didn’t they have to sign something in advance? And they still don’t clean things up before the camera crews get there? Are they forbidden to clean up via contract or something?

Anyhow, I’ve worked at McDonald’s years ago and I can honestly say the cleanliness of the McDonald’s I worked at was way better than these “dining establishments.” Food was rotated first-in first-out. Items beyond there expiration date were thrown out promptly. Everything was sanitized every night. Granted some employees may not have followed procedure to the T every time, and I even saw a few things that “you don’t want to know.” But it was not systemic and they were exceptions to the rule.

In these kitchens on TV it appears that it is normal to have mold gardens in the walk-in. Of course I’ve only watched two episodes, but I have a sneaky suspicion that most (non-fast-food, non-franchise) restaurants are like this.

Be that as it may, I do believe that society has become a bit overly sensitive to “cleanliness” issues and we have probably been eating at least semi-nasty or partially contaminated food since forever. However, how often do you get indigestion after eating out? Do you suppose a restaurant owner/manager would let you examine their walk-in refrigerator before you order?

Oh well, just thinking out loud.

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Rate The Candidates Matrix

November 28, 2007

MSNBC.com has an interesting matrix located at: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21116732.

Just thought it was interesting enough to mention.


Freedom of expression

November 1, 2007

Listening to Bob and Tom show on the radio this morning and they had a 3 or 4 comedians in conversation with them….and it kept coming up over and over whether they could say certain things or how they could say certain things to be ok for broadcasting over the air. I could only think about 1)how our founding fathers would be rolling over in their graves if they could hear this. 2) how the # of instances and circumstances when free speech rights were limited are growing and how self imposed censorship is rampant, 3)how much creativity is limited by this obsession with controlling speech 4) that these are professional radio people that have been doing this for 30 years and they are struggling ON THE AIR to try and figure out what is ok and what isnt. To me this is awful and shameful.