We have a very good friend who is a waiter that works in a high end restaurant. He told us never get lemon or lime in your water. First of all, it's not washed, second it passes through many hands before it reaches your glass of water. So, if you like lemon or lime as I do, ask for it on the side so you can squeeze it yourself and then don't drop it into your drink but discard it off to the side.
I ask for it all the time at known restaurants. Never known to have an issue with any sort of reaction or illness from it?
There are just a whole lot of food related things that are handled in a restaurant, far too many for me to worry about. But then again it may depend on the place one eats?
I've heard that too but I continue to get lemon and stick it in my drink.
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For all of those folks who worry about how their food was handled in a restaurant - JUST STAY HOME and be safe.
Gloves that food prep employees wear are only as clean as their hands would be anyway.
I've never been ill or had problems dining out.
The two times I have had food poisoning it was the result of home cooking.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Lurah,
Spanish Revival - Good tip but the fact of the matter is, that, if washing limes/lemons is an issue, I would be far more concerned about preparation of the rest of the menu which, face it, none of us have any ability to know.
Bottom line, I eat at restaurants that I trust, have eaten food all over the world from vendors and restaurants that I had no reason to trust ~ if it didn't "look or smell right" ~ I just don't eat it. Basic common sense - lemons/limes don't even reach my radar in this situation - besides, I love limes and lemons but not in my water glass.
Lemons in my butter sauce for lobsters and love lime in my G&T's while on vacation - I figure the alcohol kills any germs!
I have to agree with the majority on this one.
I've not been in food service for a number of years, but things like lemons and limes are prepped in the kitchen area, placed in a container and then put in the drink service area where servers take a wedge and adds it to your water or tea.
Surprise, they have been doing this for many many decades. So what has changed?
Americans' irrational fears about things they cannot control is the main thing that has changed.
Spanish Revival, just wanted to say, thank you for trying to inform us and do not feel we don't appreciate it...just because we are disagreeing with this hint.
PS: I was very happy to find out about the "unclean drinking glasses and counter surfaces in hotel/motel chains" a few years ago.
We now either bring our own, or immediately wash the ones that "say they are sanitized". And wash any surface that one would use for personal items or food.
Not trying to change anyone's eating or drinking habits, just thought I would pass along some information.
I agree with the majority here too. But yes, thank you SR!
Cleanliness -or lack of- in a restaurant goes way beyond the lemons and limes. Even doing as you suggest, asking for it on the side, when the lemon/lime is placed in a small bowl on the side there is a very good chance that all sides of that piece of fruit have been touched by unclean hands.
My mother did not want to be served her drink in a washable glass. She actually preferred disposable plastic. I pointed out the person pulling the disposables from the plastic sleeve...he ran his hands along the side and "lip" of the cups and did the same thing in setting them in place on the counter defeating the reasoning she had used for cleanliness.
My husband would eat every meal in restaurants, diners, hamburger joints...and some of the places he eats...yuck! While I go to a select few restaurants, and then of course there is traveling, I prefer my cooking. I know the cleanliness level as well as the quality of the food I prepare. The three times I've had food poisoning were from restaurants. MOF Husband got deathly sick on our honeymoon 15 years ago! Glad I ate something different!!
I've only had food poisoning once and it was from a popular sub place. 4 of us ate there but only 2 of us had the sub with a different meat than the other 2. If that wasn't bad enough, it was a couple days before Christmas. Took me a long time to be able to even think about subs again. If I drink water while out, I also, have lemon slices dropped in.
Concerned about the wait staff handling your food? What about the new wave of trendy places and fast food spots that have you get your own drink. Consider the exposure of lemons in the self serve bucket!
SR, I had read a report on that a couple of years ago, but don't remember the source. At least you have a source that confirmed it.
Yep, I'm one of those people that just should NOT dine out. I limit it, and The Husband is fine with a funky meal rather than go out. I'm thankful for his easy-goingness. Some partners/spouses complain quickly about food/meals.
And, that report that discussed some ice machines being filthier than toilets. Ick.
I never thought that this was an issue until I saw it on one of the morning shows. It was a story about what to avoid in restaurants, such as the fish dish on a Monday (there are no deliveries on Sunday so the fish is never fresh on Monday) They discussed the fact that lemons and limes were found to carry lots of germs, even in very nice restaurants. So this may not be a trivial topic at all.
I find the morning shows tend to make big deals out of small matters. The other morning there was some Dr trying to make us afraid of allowing our children touch anything at school cause Heaven's forbid they might catch a cold.
If we were to take every story from the NBC, ABC and CBS morning shows over the past 10 years seriously we would never walk out our front doors. Actually - hide under our beds, but then there are the stories about dust mites - so I guess sit in our bathtubs. Oh no, there's a toilet in the bathroom....
I wonder how much a plastic bubble costs?This message has been edited. Last edited by: Charming,
I agree, 16paws.
Recently, the cafe in one of our public buildings in SF stopped offering chilled ice water for patrons to dispense for themselves. The reason? Staff would place lemons or limes in the carafes, and some patrons would reach into the pitchers to take the citrus to their tables, leaving the water remaining in the carafes for the rest of us to enjoy. Ugh!
Very much in the news the past week or two here in Portland are stories of the conditions in kitchens in restaurants.
We have 800 restaurants which I guess is a lot for such a small city. There are not enough inspectors to adequately inspect each kitchen, but when the woman who is the inspector did 49 kitchens, 39 of them failed! One she closed down.
In a related story it said that actually chain restaurants have better conditions as the standards come from their home offices and must be complied with by staff.
Since at least one of our favorite restaurants is on the waterfront (also two more that we eat at less frequently) it does cause a certain unease.
Tho this word of caution re. restaurants plopping lemon or lime wedges in drinks is not new, I have been requesting it "on the side" and squeeze the juice myself for some time now. It's just common sense. BTW, I waitressed in my twenties so I know what goes on in restaurants. Not only is the risk of contamination via the hands used to prep/serve the fruit, but there's pesticides on the skin. To say you've never had an adverse reaction to taking the lemon/lime in drinks just means you've been fortunate thus far. Why take the risk when a simple solution is but a request away? If you don't care either way, so be it. To each his/her own.
I still say, that even requesting the lemon/lime on the side is no difference. Not every restaurant uses tongs to put the lemon on the side and if you think whoever plops the lemon in the small bowl/saucer selectively picks it up by the rind, I'm afraid you've got another think coming...
I shudder when the ice is self-serve from an ice-maker with a scoop. People scoop their own ice and drop the entire scoop back in the ice...handle and all. The handle should never touch the ice!
I have a small scoop in my ice bucket in the freezer and time after time whoever helps me with ice in the glasses, just drops the scoop handle and all in the bucket when the handle was clearly hanging over the lip and not down in the ice.
Sherry, only a couple of people ever help me in the kitchen and those that do follow a very simple procedure so I don't have to worry about things like handles to ice scoops in my freezer - we all wash our hands before working in he kitchen. If we stick our hands in something yucky - we wash them again. I think or hope I will encounter many other more upsetting things in my day than that.
Help in my kitchen constantly washes hands too, it's just one of those little things that cause a minor irritation...put it back the way you found it. Something small that I never say anything about - out loud.
Glad we can vent about those small things here.
My main kitchen annoyance is DH's inability to remember where things go. I swear - it must be intentional! Why else would he not know after 12 years that my beaters go in the drawer under the mixer?
This thread reminds me of that horrendously hilarious scene from the move "BridesMaids" when they all got food poisoning. I guess I have been fortunate to have never had it but I usually stay away from places that don't have a crowd on a regular basis.
As far as lemons and limes having germs, I would be more concerned with germs I get off the door handles coming into the restaurant, the table, the booth or chairs and the utensils. It's said on average we touch our faces with our hands 16 times per hour, enough to gather and transmit germs from just about anywhere. Our whole body is covered with germs and microbes and even parasites we couldn't live without. I'm not too much of a germaphobe, but I do clean off grocery cart handles and try not to touch doors in public restrooms with my bare hands.This message has been edited. Last edited by: zone9alady,
Whether You Think You Can Or You Think You Can't..... You're Right - Henry Ford
I can top that Charming. Who would believe that a man in his late 70's, married for 50 + years, w ho has eaten three meals a day probably for all of his life, can not remember that the spoon goes to the right of the plate?
I don't obsess about restaurants, perhaps because I don't eat out much anymore. The restaurants in my area are mediocre, at best, so I stay away. I cook almost very meal at home.
Even when I lived in food meccas like NYC and DC and ate out virtually every day, I never got food poisoning. And, I was a big fan of sashimi, no less.
Must be my cast iron stomach.
Speaking of eating out, we seldom do it any more, too expensive and healthier choices at home (at least for the money).
Back when the kids were small, this was often our entertainment/family time. We ate out a lot, and our kids were used to good restaurant ediquette, and because we ate out so often, fast food places for tacos and burgers were on the list more often than not.
Anyway it was interesting, but my kids hardly were ever sick compared to the neighborhood friends who ate healthy meals at home. We just figured they were pretty much immune due to all the restaurant food. (smile)
I agree. When I retired 5 years ago I started watching a lot of daytime tv -- Dr. Oz, The Doctors, etc. I soon started to believe everything they were saying. I needed this or that supplement, eating this or that could cause/cure cancer, rat droppings in this, pesticides in that.
And while I still take my own water with me on the rare occasions I eat out and I walk out of restrooms looking like a surgeon with my hands up in the air so I don't touch the door, I have calmed down a tad. I no longer watch any talk shows, morning news shows, or doctor shows.
BTW, I have not had a cold or flu since 1989.
[QUOTE]Originally posted by MyLifeVacation1:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Charming:
I no longer watch any talk shows, morning news shows, or doctor shows.
I agree, my choices for daytime TV viewing are further limited when I refuse to watch soap operas and those you listed. Favorite shows are HGTV. I'm healthy and fortunate to have a cast iron stomach.
Did you ever see the movie with John Cleese (forget the name of it) where everyone at a dinner party table died of food poisoning?
As far as germy door knobs, menus, chairs, etc. I use hand santizer and also make a point of not handling restroom door knobs. Also, once I squeeze the fruit juice into my water, I don't plop the fruit itself into the water. Granted, you can do so much toward prevention but you won't eliminate germs 100% no matter how careful you think you are.
BTW, anyone catch episodes of shows that help with failing restaurants and see how the lack of kitchen cleaning is a common thread? The ice machines used to make the cubes they put into drinks is often full of germy gunk. Watching those shows puts the fear of eating out into most viewers.
At the age of 50, I got my very first case of pinkeye while on vacation! I touch nothing in public restrooms! DH thinks I over-react. Of course he wasn't the one who got pinkeye!!!
To germaphobes - if you's learn to understand bacteria growth you would put yourselves at ease.
Three things must be present - bacteria, nutrients (including moisture) to feed the bacteria and the correct temperature - to grow bacteria.
Charming, LOL. My DH does exactly the same thing. His reply when I ask him about it? "I never get it out, so how do I know where its supposed to go?" And we've been in this house 14 years.
Amazing, though. He expects me to know exactly where EVERYTHING is.
Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain.
Those Monty Python movies are so strange to me. I think it was "The Meaning of Life". I must have been in my 20's when I saw it...maybe it was too much over my head.
Whether You Think You Can Or You Think You Can't..... You're Right - Henry Ford
I saw a news report on how those lemon wedges had fecal matter on them, because the wait staff didn't wash their hands after using the restroom...
I take a bottle of water (in my purse) when I go out to eat now.
While I know someone will say that the wait staff also make the salads, touch the plates, etc.
At least I feel better about the water I drink.
"What doesn't kill us...often makes us stronger."
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