If you’re eating right now, put down your sandwich.
Whether it’s a fast-food joint, a Chinese buffet or your favorite restaurant in town, you are always at the mercy of how well, or rather how poorly employees handle food, respect basic rules of hygiene and keep rodents and insects at bay.
In early April, Dominique Ansel Bakery, which has become a New York City attraction thanks to his famous Cronut, was shut down by the Health Department after inspectors found a mice infestation in the SoHo bakery. Although the closure lasted no more than a couple of days, it shows that it happens even to the best of them.
Take Thomas Keller’s Per Se, a three-Michelin-star restaurant in New York. In early March, the restaurant was hit with 42 violations including no hand-washing facility or soap in the food-prep area and tobacco use in the food-prep area. Several violations were dismissed a month later but some remain.
Most common health violations by restaurants include food held at improper temperatures, mixing raw meat with cooked meat and employees failing to wash their hands. It gets to the next level when there’s a cockroach in your salad or rats are the most regular patrons in a restaurant.
Many restaurants try to remedy the problems and to pass follow-up inspections, reopening a few days later. But in the worst cases, restaurants end up closing for good.
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