Food Nazi To The Rescue - The FoodNazi to the Rescue Blog at Allrecipes.com - 262344

The FoodNazi to the Rescue

Food Nazi to the Rescue 
 
Dec. 29, 2011 12:00 pm 
Updated: Jan. 1, 2012 4:49 am
So I always thought what a hoot it would have been if I'd actually had been able to write a blog back in the good old days when I was a restaurant inspector. I worked in a large city and had a good sized district containing a variety of restaurants, bars, groceries and various other food-containing establishments that required my oversight. Mind you I still do inspections now but on a corporate level - oh so much more boring. (but better paying!)

I was always the life of the party then. Everywhere I went, people wanted to hear my latest stories. What was the yuckiest kitchen I'd been in lately? The most horrible thing I'd witnessed, the worst manager I'd had to deal with, and which restaurant had I closed lately? I could keep them entertained for hours.

Unfortunately, we did not know about www.internet back then. Sigh. Now I just annoy my relatives by lecturing them about NOT thawing their meat on the counter, and reminding them to cool their leftovers properly in the refrigerator, and so forth.

I still like to remind folks to stay away from facilities where no English is spoken. They worry me a lot. If the operators cannot speak our language, can they read the Food Code? Can they understand their inspector? Possibly they have a translator or a version of the code in their language. But 99% of the time, not. So.........you do the math.

One time I went into a very shi-shi facility on the trendy side of town. An upscale establishment that is no longer in existance and I can't remember the name, so don't ask. It was a hot summer day and very few patrons were in the dining area. It was after the lunch rush and a few flies buzzed about lazily.

As I walked down the line in the kitchen, I looked at my feet and noticed something wiggling. A very small pale something. A foot or so later I noticed another something. This was all along the line of coolers and related equipment, on the back side of which was the hot equipment (grills, fryers etc).
I bent to examine said wiggler, and closer examination revealed a live creature. Slowly I turned my head to peer underneath the line of equipment and discovered many hundreds of happily squiggling and jiggling little - worms?

Yes indeed, they were maggots. From the flies. In the kitchen. Of this very high end restaurant. The conditions were just right, you see, and the eggs can hatch in as little as 24 hours, even in fancy pants restaurants like this one. If you don't clean up grease or food splashes and you let flies into your facility/home whatever, you create the right conditions for their children to multiply. The managers did not have a happy day. But I had a good story!

So if you have more food safety questions for me, please let me know. I will be happy to answer any and all that I can.
 
Comments
Dec. 29, 2011 12:45 pm
Fly Control is something I know about. I am a licensed Pest control operator, As a matter of fact I have Five licenses. Empty Trash Often, At Least Every 24hrs Eggs Flies Lay can hatch within that time, Tie Up Your Trash bags And Wrap The Pull Tie Around The Trash Bags And Tie It. You Can Use Maxforce Fly Bait (Spray It Inside Your Trash Can, And Gold Marlin Fly bait (I have 6 stations mounted to the outside of my house), You Can Also Use Fly Lights (I have 4 In My House). Another product is Quik Strike Fly Abatement Strip. Keep The Trash Can Lid On Tight. Keep Your Trash Can Away From Your Doorways (Like 50 feet) If you Can. Some flies Do Not Lay Eggs, And Lay Larvae (Maggots).
 
Dec. 29, 2011 12:54 pm
I forgot there is also automated fly sprays like, Purge III Flying Insect Spray I have two In my house. each should handle 6,000 feet (per the can directions).
 
Dec. 29, 2011 1:35 pm
OMG, I would have Died right then and there! GROSS!!!!!!! Great story tho. I work at a HS cafeteria and my boss always has us keep the doors from outside closed. even inside room doors cuz you never know when 1 fly will drop in. Thanks for an informative blog.
 
Dec. 29, 2011 2:19 pm
LOL, I looked at the title and thought, do I dare look? I was just imagining what you could tell us. Nice blog.
 
Dec. 29, 2011 4:20 pm
We have our very own Food Nazi. Cool! Can't wait to read more. :)
 
5Tami2 
Dec. 29, 2011 7:34 pm
Great Story .....OK now, so I love PF Chang's...are they Americanized enough to follow code?
 
Dec. 29, 2011 8:29 pm
What I found interesting when I worked at a Health Dept. for one year, was that most people focus on dirty walls/floors when they think about bad health inspections, when actually the kitchen can be a pigpen, but will score better on an inspection because a clean kitchen may have unsanitary practices by staff, incorrect temps & storage. It all depends on the severity of the violation. Another example would be kitchen staff smoking in the cooking area. It's not the possibility of ashes in the food, it's the hand-to-mouth contact.
 
Wethersfield Mamma 
Dec. 29, 2011 11:26 pm
Love the story but hate the casual use of the word Nazi. The Nazis murdered over 5 million people. While I appreciate your intent to show your enthusiasm, I really doubt you would like to compare yourself with murders, rapists, torturers and the insensitive animals who experimented on children and sent people to die in ovens. By such casual use of the name, we belittle the true monsters the real Nazis actually were.
 
Dec. 30, 2011 6:54 am
Speaking of flies & maggots. Bags of potatoes can be a great breeding ground. More than once I have seen those big bags of spuds with flies buzzing around and in them. BEWARE. A friend of mine had the misfortune of buying one of those bags and the next thing she knew she had a major fly infestation and maggots in her pantry. YUCK. I hope you keep blogging. There are always a ton of questions about food safety.
 
Dec. 30, 2011 8:15 am
Thanks for the interesting and informative blog. I will be looking forward to the next one.
 
Dec. 30, 2011 2:48 pm
Great blog subject! I worked in high end food service years ago and very quickly learned that the fron of the house and the back of the house were worlds apart. Forty years later and I still don't like to eat out if I can't see the kitchen. Keep sharing, this is good information.
 
 
 
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TaraR

Home Town
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Member Since
Nov. 2008

Cooking Level
Intermediate

Cooking Interests
Baking, Stir Frying, Asian, Indian, Nouvelle, Mediterranean, Healthy, Vegetarian, Dessert, Kids, Gourmet

Hobbies
Scrapbooking, Gardening, Hiking/Camping, Walking, Photography, Reading Books

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About Me
I got my first cookbook when I was about 7, it was a Betty Crocker for kids. I started cooking and never looked back. I also like to decorate cakes and cookies as a hobby. My job is a food safety specialist; I have worked mostly in the regulatory field but some in industry as well. Because of my background I'm well versed in foodborne disease and personal and kitchen hygiene and my family thinks I'm a germaphobe! I love food; I love to cook it, eat it, and critique it. I also am very particular about which restaurants I'll eat at...that's the hazard of my job!
My favorite things to cook
Mostly I like to cook for my family or friends. I like to do hors deouvres, desserts, and ethnic foods. I spend a lot of my day in kitchens, but I still like to come home and make dinner for my family.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Every Christmas my mom and I have cookie day, where we make huge batches of cookies and treats for everyone. We also usually host Thanksgiving dinner and we try to make some new dishes every year. In our family it's taboo to open a can or warm up frozen foods! Everything is from scratch (mostly), especially for big holiday dinners. We even like to experiment with fancy cocktails and fun drinks for the kids.
My cooking triumphs
I made my brother's wedding cake, the first and only one I have done.
My cooking tragedies
Boy can I mess up candy! Sticky, lumpy, burned, you name it. Can't do candy to save my life. Another one was the first weekend we moved into our very first house when my husband and I were married. I got up early and decided to make a batch of muffins in my new gas oven to surprise him for breakfast. Unfortunately, during the unpacking process, someone helping us had decided to store some of my potholders in the "drawer" under the oven, which was actually the broiler of the gas stove. I had just slid the muffin pan into the oven, when the kitchen filled with black smoke. I didn't know where it was coming from but all the smoke detectors went off and I quickly opened all the windows. My husband ended up having to call the fire department. Since it was a Sunday and the firemen were bored, they sent 3 engines to our house and dragged my stove onto the front lawn, where it burned a big hole in the grass. I was so mortified I stood in the back yard and cried.
 
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