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Mishandled Food at Golden Corral and Why Nobody Should Be Surprised

Why Nobody Should be Surprised by the Golden Corral ScandalI don’t know how big a deal this Golden Corral scandal is, but I wasn’t shocked when I read the headlines about their mishandled food. Does anyone ever walk into a restaurant that is centered around a buffet and think, “Wow this is the bastion of cleanliness?” I didn’t think so.

For those of you who haven’t heard about the Golden Corral scandal, recently an employee captured video of food items that appeared to be stored near a garbage can while flies swarmed around the food. The employee is quoted as saying, “I’m an employee here, been working here for a long time, and I don’t feel that this is right.” To be fair to Golden Corral, the father of this employee tried to sell the video to the restaurant for $5,000. That certainly doesn’t scream good intentions to me.

Anyway, the manager at the location was fired for improper food storage and Golden Corral swore that none of the food that was mishandled got fed to any customers.

Well, as a former dishwasher and part-time cook at a buffet centric restaurant, the scandal involving Golden Corral seems pretty common at restaurants. What I encountered wasn’t as bad as what was shown on the video, but I encountered some pretty bad stuff all the same.

Steaks thrown in the garbage can, then pulled back out and slapped on the grill? Yep. Steaks that are green in color purposely served to an overly demanding customer? Yep. Rolls used as bowling balls on the floors before being served? You betcha. Employees eating straight out of the buffet food containers? Uh huh. Spit? No question.

This kind of stuff didn’t happen every day at that restaurant, but it happened enough to where I have a hard time eating at similar establishments and there are certain types of foods that I won’t touch at any establishment. From the many people over the years who I’ve talked to who also worked at restaurants as teenagers, they all, every single one of them, have similar stories. And some of them have far worse stories than what I encountered.

Here’s the lesson: if you want to have some decent quality food that hasn’t been dipped in the trash, thrown on the floor, and spit on, don’t be overly difficult. If your steak comes out as medium and you wanted it to be medium rare? Just deal with it. If your roll isn’t as warm as you think it should be? Enjoy a room-temperature roll knowing it is floor-grease free. Otherwise? You’re putting yourself at risk.

Photo Credit: Flickr

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