Thursday, January 5, 2012

Community Condiments

Have you ever thought about those condiments sitting on each table in a restaurant? How many people have touched them? How many of those people have filthy, germy hands as they pick those containers up? How often are those containers cleaned, if at all? And I'm not talking about a "wipe down" once in awhile, but really CLEANED?!

The hubby and I had a late breakfast at The French Laundry in Fenton a few days ago on our way to see the art museum in Flint. It's a very popular place and we had a half hour wait to get a table. Lots and lots of people kept coming in to eat, and the line was getting longer and longer, as we all kept crowding around trying to find some space to wait for our turn at a table.

When we were finally seated at a tiny table in a corner behind the doors into the larger dining area, another couple was seated in the opposite corner behind the doors just after we were.

When their food came (HEY! We got seated FIRST! Still waiting for our food...), the young man took the salt grinder and put the end where the salt comes out of directly into the palm of his hand while he grinded the top with his other hand. It was flat against his hand so now whoever uses it afterwards is going to get their salt coming out against the germs his palm left behind. He did it this way so he could take the salt out of his palm & sprinkle it exactly how he wanted it all over the food. I get why he did it, but I didn't like that canister being flush against his palm where other customers expect uncontaminated salt to come out from.

When my stuffed french toast came, along with a bottle of pure maple syrup, completely sticky with trails of syrup left by other diners, I tried to eat the french toast with the sweetened cream cheese and strawberries alone. It was too dry, not nearly as good as the stuffed pancakes I can get at my niece and nephew-in-law's restaurant (for 1/2 the price too!). I agonized over touching that syrup bottle for a few moments, then I picked up two napkins. One napkin held the bottle while the other napkin twisted off the screw cap. Ta Da - no germs! :-)

Well, at least I hope there were no germs! How do I know some moron didn't use his finger to swipe some dripping syrup off the rim of the bottle?!?! Ugh!

Speaking of which, I just remembered something I saw at a spice shop up north. My mother and I went to Pepper Mill Spice Co in Alden, Michigan a few years back. I watched in horror as a dumb woman kept opening the spices for sale and sticking her saliva-wettened fingers into them for a taste. There were signs everywhere telling customers NOT to open and taste the spices for sale. I went to find the manager to let her know what the idiot woman was doing. Several bottles known to now be contaminated were whisked off the shelf and thrown away. She should have made the idiot pay for them! Grrrrr

My mother also told me that she saw her sister-in-law lick all of her fingers after eating Red Lobster biscuits and then pick up the salt shaker to use. Mother now has a real germ phobia about salt and pepper shakers in restaurants.

I don't like touching anything that other diners touch in a restaurant. I don't like those condiment containers full of all kinds of germs and bacteria! Too many people have gross habits. Maybe the best thing is to have your own condiments handy to take to the restaurant with you.

Bon Appetit!