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!

21 comments:

  1. Bon Appetit? Kinda hard after reading this! 8 )

    Actually, the last time that we went out for supper, I DID think about those condiments sitting on the table...because I immediately thought of you and your mom! See--you DO have me thinking too!!!

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  2. Where to begin...I have to repeat myself, if you think about it you would NEVER eat anywhere. I remember as a high schooler some kids actually spit in the ketchup. And all those food preparer's wearing those food saftey gloves; those gloves are only clean as long as they are not pushing hair out of their face, or not scratching an itch, or touching something other than the food they are preparing. Trust me they are not thinking about what they are touching and can't be bothered to keep changing those gloves. Sorry :(
    now lets eat :)

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  3. >_< Oh no.. I didn't think about any of that till just now.. good thing I am not much of a condiment girl lol!

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  4. sky, glad you're thinking like a true germaphobe! Welcome to our little club! ;-)

    ksjj, you're right about thinking TOO much about germs in restaurants! It's enough to drive one crazy! OH! Maybe I AM crazy!!! LOLOLOL! That's seriously gross about the kids spitting in the ketchup! I'm sure things like that happen somewhere daily - all the more reason NOT to use the community condiments! No, gloves are not sanitary if they're touching UNsanitary places! Totally useless then! Ah crap, maybe it IS best to just stay HOME! *sigh* :-/

    skinnier, I'm with you! I don't use condiments either. All my food is normally eaten very plain. About the only seasoning I'd consider adding is pepper - but I will NOT touch it at a restaurant! Ewww

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  5. Ok people, let's not go overboard. Restauranteurs are well aware of the fact that if they keep a nasty restaurant they will loose customers. Just ask your niece and her husband. Sure you are going to have the odd instances of people like the young punk who probably don't have too much between his ears, or the old lady (I'm being kind)who tasted the spices.

    Case in point. Yesterday I went into a chocolate gift shop. No signs posted or anything. I picked up a box and simply pulled open the cover, didn't touch the contents, didn't even see the contents as they were covered with paper. The young lady at the counter (most probably another germ freak) came over and took the box off the shelf to throw it away.

    I almost didn't buy anything but decided the chocolates looked good enough. So she got my business. However, I doubt I'll ever make the mistake of shopping there again.

    I'm glad I am not a condiment user either, for the most part. Taking your own salt with you is not a bad idea. In fact, one nutritionist recommends it. She takes her own SEA salt with her and season her food. Some more food for thought. :)

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  6. LOL - now what would I write about in this germ freak blog if not everything I can think of that can become contaminated with germs?!
    ;-)

    Too bad about the chocolates! That does sound like she might have overreacted, but maybe she THOUGHT you touched them & didn't want to take any chances. A germaphobe must be ever diligent! LOLOLOL!

    Sea salt is supposed to be better, I hear. I rarely use salt in any cooking. Lots of herbs & pepper are what I use.

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  7. Actually she was right there when I opened the box and what is even more outrageous is that I said to her, okay, you're going to throw it out, let me look at it and she pointed to the very top of the shelf at some in clear plastic. This is where they had the display 10' high! Even with my glasses on, which I didn't have on at the time, what can you see at 10' high?

    Wow! I don't think I can eliminate salt completely from my diet. I think my body will protest and go into sodium deficient mode, lol.

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  8. She sounds like she's just plain rude & nasty! What a jerk! I wouldn't have bought anything from the store after that episode! And they're stupid for putting the display sample out of sight of any customer!
    >:-(

    There's so much salt already in just about all food that you don't need to add anymore to your cooking. Spice & black pepper - GOOD! :-)

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  9. Yeah, I was this close to walking out. She asked me if someone else had opened the box if I would buy it. I said yes since I didn't even see the contents. She still didn't let me have a look, pointing out the display at the top instead. Quite the little witch. I wasn't in the mood for arguing so let it go.

    Well I got no salt in my fresh veggies and meat so gotta put some sodium if I want taste. I usually cook from scratch. If I use soup mix then yes, I use very little salt - no pepper, lol.

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  10. Well, she SAW you didn't TOUCH any of it, so I don't know what her problem was - other than just being a jerk!

    You were more tolerant of her attitude than I would have been! Rather a surprise! haha *wink*
    ;-)

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  11. Yeah, musta been the hormones hadn't kicked in yet, lol. But ya know when I git goin' folks better watch out, lol. Cuz I don't hold back then. hahaha

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  12. Well, that's what I like about you, Marg! No holding back, no hypocrisy - you tell it like it is & you are not afraid to be REAL! Folks know where they stand w/you. No games. That's how it SHOULD be!
    :-)

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  13. I hear ya my germ freak friend and I agree 100%. Loves ya :)

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  14. People should leave their habits at home, that guy was crazy to use his hands on the salt shaker like that. It is extremely hard to control this and not sure what the people cooking the food do, I just leave it to God. Cheers :-)

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  15. It's safer to just stay home, but then I do so love to eat out, Chris! Just gotta hope I don't catch sick from anyone's nasty habits!
    :-)

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  16. I annoy practically everyone I go out with. One napkin for the menu, a napkin for condiments..a napkin to clean the plates.. I should stop typing. I'm starting to sound a little mad.

    GM x

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  17. LOL - you've got it bad, GM! But I'm heading your way, no doubt! I'd be happy to dine out with you, so then I could really "let my hair down" & be totally uninhibited in my germaphobe ways!!! Just try to convert your friends & family to OUR practices, is my advice! mua ha ha
    ;-)

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  18. There are some great products available for all of us germ freaks. Take a look at www.microphobe.com

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  19. ps
    enjoyed your blog and the comments

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  20. There are plenty of alternatives to napkins and awkward scenes for the unassured germaphobe out there. I picked up a personal purifier from www.spirit-soaring.com Item #: 760657 for example, that works wonders. taken from the product label - A compact germ-killing machine, that eliminates 99.9% of germs on any object. This portable handheld purifier has the same 4-watt ultraviolet lightbulb that is used to sanitize surgical instruments. It deactivates the DNA of bacteria, viruses and pathogens.

    it's discrete and doubles as a flashlight, I constantly use it on children's toys and utensils, even ugh, emergency pending, a public toilet seat (on top of the paper seat covers' if the bathroom has one)

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