People love eating out, the food tastes better, there are no dishes to wash afterwards and we trust that our food handlers will bring us a clean, hygienic plate of food. [Death Metal starts playing] Behind the closed swinging doors of the kitchen though the situation is much, much darker.
You’d expect food standards to be universally upheld, but some professionals that get a behind the scenes view will attest to the opposite. Here are some of those horrifying stories that will probably make you think twice before you eat out. Or sleeping, or eating in OH MY GOD THE BUGS ARE EVERYWHERE!
The Bug that Eat You
It’s pretty widely accepted - forgetting delusional Twilight and Anne Rice fans - that vampires are fictional monsters. They shape shift, turn into bats and can actually control people’s desires. But what if I told you that there is a real world equivalent out there that is, for all intents and purposes, completely invisible, it sucks your blood and can drive you insane. These little unseen terrors can lurk anywhere, but they prefer the most private room in your house, and the most sacred piece of furniture to inhabit. Your bed. Their name even indicates their propensity to get you while you sleep; these loathsome creepy crawlies are called bedbugs.
A certain Brooklyn exterminator thought he’d share the terror of a situation he came across while fulfilling his duties. He was called to a house to spray for bed bugs and when he arrived he saw a man sitting on a couch. Everything seemed quite normal, but then he noticed that the wall behind the couch was covered in small spots and these spots moved. Do you see where this is going? Upon further inspection, he noticed that the man’s face was completely covered with bedbug bites, but when the gallant exterminator told the man that he would spray, the infested man responded “Will they die? Because my religion doesn’t allow me to kill, even bugs.” The exterminator left, I’m sure with a heavy case of the heeby-jeebies.
I know that usually the term is Roach Hotel, but for a hungry woman in South Carolina the modified turn of phrase became a hellish experience. She sat down to eat a “delicious” taco from the fast food giant Taco Bell (and if you’re wondering about the quotation marks around delicious it’s because we’re talking about Taco Bell) and as she was about enjoy this “treat” (quotation marks used again to indicate sarcasm) a cockroach scurried out of the tortilla.
When she complained to the staff, she was told that the exterminator had visited the restaurant that day and the roaches were upset from their usual hiding places under the ice machine and dishwasher. Reassuring huh?
The son of a funeral director and a roach
That tagline already has the trappings for a pretty horrible story right? Well, once you look into the little nooks and crannies you’ll see that the infestation is much worse than you first thought. The family ordered a pizza from the local pizzeria. After enjoying what would be an as-normal-as-it-can-be meal in a funeral home, one of the funeral directors sons spotted a cockroach embedded in the crust.
The innovative pizza crust wasn’t a result of following the foodie trend to eat bugs, but a result of a grotesque, large scale infestation of roaches. The health inspectors not only found moldy kebab meat (why would you even have that in a pizza joint?), disgustingly dirty food preparation surfaces but also found cockroaches in refrigerators and running up walls. Excuse me while I retch in revulsion.
Outside source inside the ice-cream mix
So this isn’t from an exterminator, but an ex-employee of a certain establishment. Unfortunately, I don’t really have a restaurant name so we’ll just have to continue playing e-Coli roulette every time we eat out. As the stomach-turning testimony goes an employee was completing their shift duty, putting things out to defrost which restaurants do a lot of. At any given moment, you will see various vessels filled with cold water, thawing out various foodstuffs, one of which is ice cream mix. The employee filled a 5 gallon bucket (I’m assuming as they are the most easily sourced receptacle in a restaurant) and dropped a bag of ice cream mix to thaw. Yes soft serve ice cream comes out of a frozen bag, I know, shocking revelation.
As the employee was walking away he/she saw a coworker chasing a rat towards the ice-cream machine (I assume in the same comical fashion a cartoon cat does by repeatedly slamming a broom behind just barely missing it). Said rat ran over the top edge of the ice cream machine and made a desperate swan dive to freedom. Instead of freedom though, the rat found a watery death at the bottom of the bucket that held the ice cream mix. When the employee tried to throw out the ice cream mix contaminated with the dead carcass of a disease ridden rodent his/her employer disallowed it. The boss responded “it was in a bag, it’s fine.” After the employee insisted on not giving anybody the bubonic plague via ice-cream marinated in rat corpse water, Mr./Mrs./Ms. overly-hygienic employee was fired.
Are you done yet or are you thirsty for more?!!!
I think we’ll revisit the bedbug, because although you might think cockroaches, mice and maggots have a lasting effect on your psyche, people have gone completely crazy for thinking they might be infested with bedbugs. Now I never mentioned in this article why bedbugs are such a scourge. The reason is that they infest everything, clothes, beds, furniture, carpeting and they are practically invisible until you get bitten or see one scurrying across your bed.
Also, the only way exterminate them is to get rid of EVERYTHING. The reason is these little assholes lay eggs everywhere. So your favorite sweater? Dumpster fodder. Your favorite couch? Put it out to the landfill to graze. Everything, every little thing must be disposed of. The process could take months and cost thousands and thousands of dollars.
Do you know of any other exterminator or behind the scenes horror stories? Let me know in the comment section below.