Restaurant Workers Who Intentionally Taint Your Food

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posted on Dec, 27 2008 @ 04:27 PM
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Everyone's heard about restaurant staff intentionally tainting customers' food, for one reason or another.. or for no reason at all.

And by tainting, I mean spitting, urinating, and worse, in customers' food. It goes on and we all know it.

But how pervasive is this?

A New York waiter, who for years wrote an anonymous blog called Waiter Rant, now has a book out, wherein he lightheartedly touches on this subject. He's even shown in the NY Post article photograph pouring Metamucil into a dish in a kitchen with a big smile on his face.


STEVE Dublanica has swapped your decaf coffee for regular, "crop dusted" your table with his intestinal gas and called the cops on you after you got drunk and staggered out to your car.

Lesson No. 1: "Waiters can and do spit in people's food . . . I prefer more elegant methods of revenge."

Dublanica is a waiter. Actually, he's "The Waiter" behind the anonymous (until now) four-year-old blog Waiter Rant, and he's got a new book of the same name out in stores today chronicling his nine-year career waiting tables in the city's affluent suburbs (he won't divulge the true identity of "The Bistro"). Anthony Bourdain has called it "the front-of-the-house version of 'Kitchen Confidential,' " his stomach-churning restaurant expose that changed the way New Yorkers ordered food.


www.nypost.com...

While it might seem humorous to some, tainting food in this way could lead to some serious health consequences. Salmonella, just one bacteria that can be transmitted this way, can lead to death in young children and the elderly.


The clinical course of human salmonellosis is usually characterized by acute onset of fever, abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea and sometimes vomiting. In some cases, particularly in the very young and in the elderly, the associated dehydration can become severe and life-threatening.


www.who.int...

And if someone dies from being intentionally poisoned by a restaurant worker in this manner, not only is the establishment liable for damages in a civil suit, but the perpetrator could conceivably be charged with homicide, if it could be proven... say by being secretly recorded on a hidden camera.

Take this case, for example. What if one of the children had died? Would Casey Diedrich have been charged with homicide?


Family wins $40,000 over food tainted with urine

Officer Keith Andrew and his wife said in the lawsuit that a Taco Bell employee urinated and spit in food served to them and their children in October 2005.

In the lawsuit, the couple said their two sons, 4 and 7 at the time, became ill after they ate the food ordered in the restaurant. The 4-year-old became violently ill" according to the lawsuit, and that he vomited for hours. He was diagnosed with gastroenteritis and dehydration.

Other workers witnessed employee Casey Diedrich. taint the food, according to the lawsuit, and they reported his actions to the managers but the managers did not inform the family, the lawsuit said. They also did not immediately discipline Diedrich.


www.northplattebulletin.com...

Casey Diedrich was eventually terminated for missing work, but not for urinating on the family's food. Apparently, this was a routine practice at this particular restaurant when preparing food for members of law enforcement.

Despite the potentially serious medical and legal ramifications of food workers intentionally tainting their customers' food, it seems to be an issue that is taken quite lightly.



What is your opinion? Is this funny? How pervasive do you think this may be?

Have you ever sent food back because it was unsatisfactory? Well, according to food service workers, chances are your food was probably "given the treatment", ie., intentionally tainted.

Have you ever witnessed someone tainting customers' food?




posted on Dec, 27 2008 @ 04:37 PM
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I actually like that little "personal touch" to my food.


It makes me feel warm and fuzzy on the inside to know that someone truly cares about their work!



posted on Dec, 27 2008 @ 04:44 PM
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Information from the USDA on foodborne illnesses:

Pathogen CDC estimate of annual number of cases and cost estimate
(2007 dollars)

* Campylobacter (foodborne sources) 2,000,000 cases, no $ estimate

* Salmonella (all sources) 1,397,187, $2,544,394,334

* Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O157 (STEC O157) (all sources) 73,480, $459,707,493

* Non-O157 shiga toxin-producing E. coli (non-STEC O157) (all sources) 31,229 cases, no $ estimate

* Listeria (all sources) 2,797 cases, no $ estimate

Of course, the above information is for educational purposes only, as there is no way to really know how many of these cases were caused intentionally.


Every year, about 325,000 people are hospitalized due to food-borne illnesses, such as E. coli. Most people recover completely from the acute problems, but there is no record of how many go on to have long-lasting health problems.

College student Alyssa Chrobuck says she is fortunate to be alive. At age 5, she ate a hamburger contaminated with with E. coli bacteria. Soon after, she was hospitalized and her organs were shutting down.


www.wral.com...


Nancy Donley said she plans to change that. She lost her son Alex to E. coli 15 years ago. Now, she the leads a group called S.T.O.P., or Safe Tables Our Priority.

“There are many people who have had long-term kidney problems, diabetes, pancreatic problems (and) vision problems,” Donley said.



posted on Dec, 27 2008 @ 04:59 PM
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That's why I never, ever send food back unless I can see the kitchen at work-and there aren't that many places where you can!
I'm not worried about bacteria etc just the thought of bodily fluids in my food!!!



posted on Dec, 27 2008 @ 05:03 PM
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i have cooked in many kitchens in two states, everything from dive bar to fine dining. i personally have only altered someone's food or drink two times in a decade. both times were obnoxious co-workers who truly deserved it, and it wasn't as malicious as urine. i have seen this type of behaviour more in servers than cooks, probably because the servers are the ones with the direct customer contact.



posted on Dec, 27 2008 @ 05:05 PM
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Interesting post -- and worth thinking about... I've sent food back on several occasions, but usually because it just (literally) wasn't done properly rather than because I suspected anything sinister. I've never worked in a restaurant kitchen so I've not witnessed "tainting" of the type you've mentioned, but I have had anectodal evidence that such things go on and apparently always have done.

It's one reason that I'm always polite to waiting staff. The other reason is that I just feel it's right...


What I think is of major concern here is that those in charge of these establishments often seem to tacitly condone such behaviour. This kind of mindset is a bit beyond me.

(People who are having dinner while reading this might want to skip the next paragraph.)

Besides the restaurants, I have had several occasions to complain about food quality standards in shops. If you see some nice chocolate donuts inside a glass display cabinet and then notice that a couple of very healthy-looking flies are feeding on them (and there's no way for those flies to get out until that cabinet is opened), well it puts you off wanting to buy any. Donuts, I mean..not flies! The same with flies in butchers' shops (some of them dead and apparently the victims of spiders). Then there are shops where a shop assistant has a cold and is coughing and sneezing all over the place and over the food... There are certain places I just won't go to these days for these reasons...

Getting back to the restaurants, I've been to some that have the toilets directly off from the dining room, meaning that there's just a single door separating the diners from the errrmm...the washroom. These are older places that should have been renovated long ago to comply with modern regulations, but if the owner has done a deal with the local health inspector then they don't have to do the upgrade. This is a fact of life in this part of the world.

I'd hate to think what goes on in the kitchens in these sorts of places. Needless to say, I just won't eat there and risk finding out the hard way.

Salmonella is pretty common here, and just a couple of weeks ago we had a major scare with a Hepatitus A outbreak, with circulars round to all schools reminding people of the need to wash their hands after going to the "bathroom". Lots of people here just don't. I know that for a fact -- and so the same would apply for many restaurant employees.

I would hope that in the US things would be better.

Mike



posted on Dec, 27 2008 @ 05:17 PM
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The following happened at one of Sydney AU's busiest hotels.





Human excrement found in free gelato

October 26, 2008 A FAMILY is planning legal action against one of Sydney's best- known pubs after being served food that allegedly contained human excrement. Stephen and Jessica Whyte and their three sons were served complimentary gelato dessert by Coogee Bay Hotel staff three weeks ago after complaining about food prices, facilities and staff attitude.


www.smh.com.au...

DNA tests later found it to be female... can you believe that!!!
www.theaustralian.news.com.au...

Although most staff and the victims provided DNA samples, a match could not be made.

I wont be eating there.

I repair equipment in the catering industry.... and I dont eat out period.

The things I have seen !!
Mungo


[edit on 27/12/2008 by mungodave]



posted on Dec, 27 2008 @ 05:17 PM
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I don't agree with tainting peoples food because mostly it is just wrong. I was a waiter and trust me I had my fair share of people who just went into the restaurant to cause trouble to either get a discount or to avoid leaving a tip. I never tainted anyone's food though (although sometimes I really wanted too). I think the lesson here is just to be respectful and assertive to people who handle your food then you shouldn't have anything to worry about.



posted on Dec, 27 2008 @ 05:20 PM
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Here's an interesting web site where food service workers can "vent", if you want to read more on the subject. A little section of the web site (The Stained Apron) called Sweet Revenge.

www.stainedapron.com...

A few rants:;


(1) I reached in with my bare hand, and using it as a ladle, lovingly scooped out three handfuls of sauce onto the pasta, closed it up, washed my hand off, and presented it to him.

(2) While the drink was blending, she poured double doses of prescription laxative into the blender, thereby rendering anything he had for lunch indigestible!

(3) The cook laughed, took the veggie burger from the plate, threw it on the floor where there was a pile of grease, then proceeded to cough up what would be the most disgusting luggie I had ever witnessed.


I can't post some of them because of the nature of the acts. But I would like to point out, that doing something like this to someone's food can kill them, and unless you're Hannibal Lector, I think the punishment of the patron for being rude is a bit severe.


[edit on 12/27/08 by kattraxx]



posted on Dec, 27 2008 @ 06:08 PM
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yup.
rule #1 is NEVER return food and rule #1b is NEVER be an a-hole to the staff.

i watched some idiot in colorado last year be such an ass to this poor kid at the sandwich counter. it was one of 'those' guys... dude being a total prick to the young worker.

we were next in line, and were being purposefully "very nice" to the fellow making the sandwiches. the guy ahead of us in line (the a-hole) caught the situation and looked like he knew we were making fun of him. it was great.



posted on Dec, 27 2008 @ 06:31 PM
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reply to post by zooplancton
 


Believe me, I've seen some rude behavior and I can certainly understand the temptation some must feel, but... this is not always done just to the rude. If that were the case, at least you'd feel as though you have some control over the matter. But sometimes it's done just for the "fun" of it, even when it's not known who will get the food. In which case, being polite and leaving a nice tip won't make any difference. Again, the point is still that this kind of thing is dangerous and possibly lethal. Yet it's still treated as a joke, for the most part.

I'm sure there are people who have died, but the exact mode of death was never known. Essentially, they were murdered.

Restaurant owners may put cameras up, but usually it's to curtail theft, and if they did happen to catch an employee tainting food, I doubt the public would ever hear about it.

You have to wonder if the people who do this type of thing ever actually consider that they might be murdering someone. Or, for example, what if the tainted food is taken home in a doggy bag and a child eats the food and dies? Do they stop to consider these things? Or is it they just don't care?



posted on Dec, 27 2008 @ 06:37 PM
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reply to post by kattraxx
 

Thanks for bringing much needed attention to this problem, S&F for you.

This is the reason I have left food service for good!

I have never tainted food served either to the public or my family. In fact the high standard of cleanliness I follow at home was carried over to my job.

Certainly some customers can be real @$$&*%#$ but do not deserve to be poisoned! I consider tainting food served to the public right up there with any type of violence intended to inflict pain, misery or death.

I quit serving because I was tired of the public and wanted to hide away in the kitchen so I became a prep cook. That was fine until I met the dishwasher from hell. The only reason she wore rubber gloves to do dishes was so that her hands would not inadvertently get cleaned.

She had this thing about feeding birds with leftovers off of dirty plates. She would shred the leftover rolls and pieces of toast to throw out back and without washing hands would put her version of clean dishes and silverware away. Her filthy egg stained un-gloved hand would scoop ice from the ice machine to be used for the public's beverages. I found her brushing her teeth in my prep sink and I came pretty close to taking her down and squeezing that toothpaste right up her nose. Solution levels were never checked on her dish sanitizer and often ran out.

I could go on and on about this piece of work referred to as our dishwasher. The health inspector was about as incompetent as she. He did not come in to inspect during hours of operation. He never witnessed her procedures or the actual running of our kitchen. I told my managers and owner of the restaurant and threatened to call the health department. Nothing was ever done. I warned all staff not to eat from her dishes we all ate with paper plates and plastic utensils.

The cooks were good but dishwashers were usually low paid unskilled labor often drunks who do it for a couple weeks and are gone with the first pay check.

Many of you worry over the cooks and servers but often forget the dishwashers. I eat in one restaurant in our town it's family owned I worked there for a time and they are clean and conscientious.

I tried every way possible to get through to this person but she just didn't get it. She was ignorant and unhygienic in her personal life. Just gross and disgusting.

Please do be careful where you eat especially with the elderly, chronically ill and children they can be so susceptible. Some people just don't have a brain or conscience. I have seen a co-worker put dish soap in another workers drink giving her terrible diarrhea. It was "just a joke" but no one thought it was funny imo she should have been fired.

This does go on all too often don't think for one minute it hasn't touched your life. Let the buyer beware.

(edit for spelling)


[edit on 27-12-2008 by Morningglory]



posted on Dec, 27 2008 @ 09:25 PM
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I worked as an IT manager of a hospital based food service and though the managers try to maintain standards the staff just tries to stay out of trouble.

So if food thaws they don't tell anyone because they fear they'll get in trouble and lose their jobs. They just freeze it again and not tell the managers.

The PCs in an area off the back kitchen area where orders were taken were just filthy, covered with grease from the kitchen and then over top that the dust - so, imagine the food prep areas and storage area right in the kitchen!

People were encouraged to wash hands, but they were also required to perform a quota. Obviously, if you have conflicting goals, and you have minimum wage workers, they're going to scrimp on cleanliness.

In addition, since the workers hated the management (or more accurately feared them since they could be fired on the spot for anything), some of them would take it out on the company by being malicious, or with minor acts of sabotage.

The food was prepped in weird ways. Hamburgers were all cooked ahead of time and kept in a container of hot water, then pulled out and heated again and then served up - right in front of you. If you came at the right moment you could possibly get a 'fresh' one, but more likely it was all re-fried.

Same thing with french fries. They'd cook 'em up and when it was time to serve them, the cooled off fries would be dumped in the grease again - likewise all done right in front of you.



[edit on 12/27/2008 by Badge01]



posted on Dec, 27 2008 @ 10:55 PM
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Just wanted to add I have never worked in dives. I always worked in the higher end restaurants as tips were better. I worked in a small but busy tourist town in Colorado.

The last restaurant I worked at with the filthy dishwasher was/is a highly rated Best Western Inn restaurant. Right off the interstate it was always the first choice for travelers.

The same corporation that owned the Best Western also owned a Knights Inn on a heavily traveled state hwy. This motel was closed for a time as it was found to be infested with bed bugs. I can't say how successful they were at addressing that problem but based on their response to the filthy dishwasher I can only guess.

I just saw something on the news about some KFC workers taking a bath in the sinks. So I guess this is the norm. I won't be a part of it and I can only wonder if other conscientious food service employees feel the same and are leaving the industry.

The problem in our town is a shortage of people willing to work. Employees are not really afraid of being fired employers are so desperate for help they tend to look the other way.

I offered to give up my prep cooking position and take on the dishwashers tasks if they would fire her. She was our night managers wife so they refused. I became very vocal which only made her worse. I couldn't leave fast enough but not before I let that night manager know what a filthy slime bucket his wife was. He told me he knew "she was a pig at home" but thought she would do better at work.



posted on Dec, 27 2008 @ 11:26 PM
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Listen, these stories about purposefully tainted food are really the exception and not the rule.

Think about it: Most customers are really good people just wanting to get their food and go, right? So what if Joe Ahole comes in and gives you a hard time.


The staff gets on high alert when this happens. They go out of their way to make sure his food is better than the NICE customers so the PROBLEM guy will go away and not come back.

Most people don't intentionally mess up an order. That only causes them more grief from the rude folks.

Use your common sense people.


I'm not saying it NEVER happens, I'm just saying that it is not at all prevalent and very much the exception.



posted on Dec, 27 2008 @ 11:29 PM
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I was going to comment and then I realized the thread was about something different than I thought.

I saw the word 'taint' and well... you know the rest...

I do have to say though my sister worked in a carhop joint in Colorado about 20 yrs ago and some dude was rude to her so she and a coworker 'hocked a loogie' as they say in the vernacular and seasoned his food!



posted on Dec, 27 2008 @ 11:37 PM
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reply to post by kattraxx
 



Believe what you will.

From my personal experience in the food industry, which would be about 20 years, both as a manager and waiter, I personally have never witnessed any such acts by either cooks or waitstaff. And trust me, I've seen my share of A-hole customers, but even with them, no one ever attempted anything. It's more of a urban myth with some sensational articles that pop up occasionally.

The percentage of such things is extremely small, almost nonexistent, IMO.



posted on Dec, 27 2008 @ 11:40 PM
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I worked in a high-end 'fur coat and mercedes' restaurant. It was common for the Chef to pick food out of the bin for stock. The worst case of tainting I've heard of is 'rimming a glass', treat bar staff with respect or,,,



posted on Dec, 27 2008 @ 11:42 PM
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Originally posted by uplander
Listen, these stories about purposefully tainted food are really the exception and not the rule.



I have over nine years experience in food service and from my perspective I completely agree with this. I have NEVER seen a co-worker do something purposefully unsanitary to a customer's food. Needless to say I never had either.

I'm SURE it happens and those who do it are ignorant barbarians regardless of their excuses.

If you are reading this and you have done it... Read the above sentence again.

Vas



posted on Dec, 27 2008 @ 11:50 PM
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Almost all bars have a bottle of "special" liqueur for the skinflint tippers, rude drunks and arrogant dorks. Just a word of warning to all you rude, arrogant, skinflint, dorks out there. You know who you are!!























[edit on 28-12-2008 by whaaa]





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