Don’t Eat Here


What is your idea of a good restaurant meal? Is it lavish or something that you wouldn’t ordinarily make at home?  Is it something that you like to frequently or infrequently indulge in?  Whatever it is, one thing is for sure – You want to have trust in the restaurant, the chef or cook  preparing your food, right?

I have spent the bulk of my working life in restaurants, on the line and in production. High end, mid range and in between, here are some things that may surprise you. Hopefully after reading, you will continue to enjoy dining out, but do so with more awareness.  The following is not happening at every restaurant.  It is careless restaurant staff that fall by the way side or don’t get caught.  Consider this food for thought next time you eat out…

1.  Fresh berries….  Take a look at the pantry or dessert station in an open kitchen if you can.  Nine times out of ten, the berries are un-washed.  Way too perishable, they’ll say, and the warmer kitchen temperatures will spoil them as quick as the brown fox ran.  Tip:  Ask for your berries washed if they aren’t.

2.  Herbs… I recently went to my favorite taco joint and witnessed a prep cook picking the leaves of un-washed cilantro and placing them in a big container for future use. Probably prepping for a salsa.  (No one washes herbs after they are picked through!)  I never went back.

3.  Deep Fried Food….  Need I say, “Eating establishments really don’t care about your health!”  Oils break down and become very damaging to health when heated to a high temperatures.  Use them over and over and really compound their negative effects. Many places re-use their hot grease and rarely clean their fryers!  I once worked as a line cook where they changed their oil once a week!  A top end place!!

4.  Butter…  Speaking of fat.   Did you know that some places re-use their seemingly untouched butter for other tables?  Some will actually reuse by melting or clarifying it for other dishes.  If you want to know, ask your server.

5.  Charred or Burnt Meats… Next time you get a piece of fish, chicken or meat and it’s very charred and blackened, return it.  Charred protein is extremely high in acrylimides and have been know to be carcinogenic.   Investigate further by taking a peak underneath and make sure you aren’t getting the sneaky cook playing the bad side down on you.

6.  Washrooms…  Not food related but definitely health related.  Is there soap in your restaurant ‘s washroom?  If not, run!  More often than not, employees use the same washroom as you.  Where have their hands been?  You get the picture.

7.  Glassware…  Is your server grabbing glassware by the rims?  Please tell them to wash their hands before they bring your plate over.  C’mon now, that is just gross.

8. Money Handling  I went to an extremely popular, hot-spot, local gourmet take-out place where the sandwich maker took my money and gave me change and then wrapped my would’ve been luscious lunch.  This was after the bloody handed butcher was going to make the omelette that I ordered.  I wrote a letter to the owner and never heard back.  Apparently both of those guys were the owners…..

If you experience or see anything you don’t thing seems right, talk to the manager or owner or write a letter.  The only way anything changes is by awareness.  Don’t feel bad, you are actually doing the restaurant and yourself a huge favor.




Cat Dillon

This blog is my journal, where I share everything wellness. From tips on healthy lifestyle to creating as much deliciousness in your life as possible.

Cat Dillon is the Cat in Caterpillar Nutrition and Wellness.

Caterpillar Nutrition and Wellness is a unique combo of nutrition, fitness and cooking coaching all in one pretty package. Read more about Caterpillar Nutrition and Wellness.

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