Whole Foods Lifestyle - If you only knew how they make________

11-16-2007, 10:23 AM
As an offshoot of the Home Bread thread, I was remembering back to one of my first jobs (working in an ice cream factory) and how horrified I was at some of the stuff that went on there, as in extremely unsanitary, how they'd take these steam hoses that were lying on the floor where everyone walked, and stick them in the vats of ice cream stuff to remelt the misformed things on a stick, and how they'd get shut down for awhile when testing showed the bacterial count was up, but then they'd be back again doing the same things a few days later.....
I remember when I was telling some people this and it resulted in a conversation in which someone else said, "oh, and if you only knew how they made cereal, you'd never eat it again...." telling horrific cereal factory tales. And someone else saying, "If you only knew what they did at ________ (major steak restaurant chain) you'd never eat at ___________ again," etc. It seemed like everyone had some disgusting thing to say about some food place where they worked. I wonder how long the list would go on. I am hoping that manufacturing and food service practices have improved since that time. But, remembering that conversation really does make me think that ignorance is bliss but rather than be ignorant (or paranoid) I'd rather simply make my own food as much as possible.

11-16-2007, 10:29 AM
I have a friend who once worked at KFC. After hearing about his first day, I swore never to eat there again :) That was 12 years ago, and I've never gone since! I don't like to eat out because I hate to think that someone else I don't know is preparing my food and who knows if they washed their hands, etc?! Freaks me out ;)

11-16-2007, 11:58 AM
I was a manager at McDonald's for almost three years, and the funny thing is that the horror stories about McDonald's weren't true at all for the restaurants that I worked at. If it's your own personal experience or a friend's, then I understand, but please don't believe everything that you hear.

I would have to agree, though, that the safest (and often healthier) choice would be to just make your own :)

11-16-2007, 12:07 PM
I ran a pretty tight ship at Noodles & Co., but you can't watch all your employees all the time. The best you can do is constantly remind them to wash thier hands and change their gloves when needed, post signs by the sinks, and hope it sinks in. After a couple days in ServeSafe classes I was positively nerotic about any possible contamination, food temps, etc.

11-16-2007, 12:21 PM
Gelatin :) Mmmm, rendered bones!


Get n healthy
11-16-2007, 01:11 PM
I never worked there, but i was in line at mcdonald one time and i could see the worker making sweet tea, which i was going to (notice i said, "going to") order. He poured the sugar in the warm tea and then stuck his whole arm in to stir the sugar. I gagged and left. But to this day, i still cant eat at that mcdonalds...it just grossed me out...to think of his dirty fingernails, arms hairs...all that going into my tea...YUK.

Suzanne 3FC
11-16-2007, 01:28 PM
Someone emailed us once to explain how they make the chicken that is used in frozen dinners like Lean Cuisine and Healthy Choice. The word "snot" was used to describe part of the process. The whole thing was so gross that I never ate chicken again. This gave me a big boost down my path to vegetarianism :lol:

11-16-2007, 01:56 PM
It's my opinion that the more large scale production is the more room for error/problems there is. This applies to most of the food made in America. I'd like to see a shift to small scale artisan production of food. I think it'd not only taste better, but it would be safer.

11-16-2007, 02:49 PM
One of the people in the conversation I am recalling related something that he knew of first hand that I wish I didn't know, and I shouldn't describe it in detail here. It involved boys putting things away after the restaurant closed. It involved boys putting an extra ingredient in salad dressing.

Suzanne 3FC
11-16-2007, 03:20 PM
Oh no! :barf:

When my son was 16 he worked at Chuckie Cheese. He told me two stories - One involved some other teenage guy that was making pizza, then he turned around and displayed something he called a "chicken heart" in his hands, then he zipped up and went back to making pizza without washing his hands. Another time they opened a large tub of cheese and it had maggots in it. He said the assistant manager on duty told them to use it anyway.

I rarely dine out :lol:

11-18-2007, 12:47 AM
I typically avoid restaurants that have teenagers working in them, and most processed foods.

Once I saw a TV special on how a company was trying to invent and market a new snack food to fill a certain market niche. Basically they came up with some generic-looking glop made out of the cheapest possible ingredients, then turned it over to a panel of chemists to flavor it. The chemists they interviewed made a point of saying that you don't have to have any of the constituents of, say, pineapple, in it to make it taste like pineapple--you just have to add the right combinations of molecules. After the chemists came up with an appropriate artificial flavoring, they turned it over to another team who worked on the snack's appearance. They colored it with various dyes, then extruded it from tubes in different shapes until the marketing people found one they thought would appeal to snackers. The whole thing was decidedly unappetizing, and in no part of the one-hour special did they show ANYTHING that bore a resemblence to an actual food.

I have never since found processed foods appealing.

11-18-2007, 11:56 AM
I work in a restaurant and I see less than desirable things go on, nothing truely nasty but generally the bread you get has been touched by server hands which have been all over the place, and occasionally i see other servers snatching fries from peoples plates. But as far as the cooks, and general practices the food is safe lol. Now, I wont talk about how TRASHED the place gets after a rush, but that is to be expected I guess, but the kitchen I work in is the messiest I have ever seen and I would eat there if it wasnt a steakhouse. I'd just get my own bread. :)

11-18-2007, 05:46 PM
I worked at a chicken processing plant; It was so gross and unsanitary. I was disgusted to think we shipped this tainted food out!

11-20-2007, 01:44 AM
Suffice it to say I am vegan, with good reason and RARELY eat out and even then, I usually eat at very specific places where I have a good idea of what is happening (and can view the kitchen or know the cooks). ;)

12-19-2007, 05:00 PM
Reading these stories really reminds me why I like to cook all of my foods... hehehe thanks for getting rid of any restaurant cravings I had! YAY!

01-08-2008, 08:46 PM
OH MAN! I AM GROSSED OUT! When I worked in a restaurant the worst things I saw was people dropping food on the floor and then claiming 5 second rule and picking it up and serving it! eww! That floor was nasty too. I've also heard that there are tons of rodent and cock roach parts in cereal and tuna fish. Nasty!

01-08-2008, 09:56 PM
I have worked at a Pizza Hut before and it was really gross. There was crud stuck to the floor and walls. And we were told not to use gloves when handling the food and clean dishes (and everything else for that matter) because it was just a waste of time. We never had glove boxes laying around for easy access, which is just wrong. I remember there was one box in the whole restaurant and it was in the front of the store where customers could see! :lol:
I have worked in the cafeteria in a hospital before and that place was very very clean. Rules were very strict and detailed! And it was healthy, good food too! We actually had a lot of regulars who came into eat there because they knew they were getting clean, healthy, cheap food!

01-08-2008, 10:14 PM
Besides food .....I once worked in the women's Clothing Department at J.C. Penney, you would not believe the women who tried clothes on , dirty, smelly, no underwear, if they buy the clothes OK, but sometimes it is hung back up.I swore I would never try clothes on in a store again. Unfortunately I do have to buy new clothes now and then.