Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >
Mar 3, 2013 05:31 PM

Is thus a hygiene issue or am I just being fussy?

Yesterday, my 10 y.o. And I went to lunch at a recently opened restaurant in our area. Not high end, but more of a pub type place with a bar on one side and serving sandwiches, salads, pizza with table service. While we were waiting for our meals, our waitress climbed up on the food service counter next to us and stood there for a few minutes while she wrote a new menu on the blackboard over the counter. She had her shoes on, walking on the counter right in front of us. To me, this was inappropriate. Those shoes walk into bathrooms, on the street, etc., and they are depositing germs on a surface where food is placed. I mean, how much does a stepladder cost? Someone in charge clearly chose to put the blackboard menu there; did no one figure out how to access it? If something like that (waling on a counter) is freely done right in front of customers, what goes on behind the scenes? I watched our pizza com right from the oven to us, so we ate it and left. Would this make you uneasy or am I being too picky?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I'm with you. I'm surprised to hear about a server doing this.

    It drives me crazy to see parents let their brats walk around on the seats in restaurant booths. Are they kidding? Where have those shoes been? ICK ICK ICK.

    1. Did she or someone wipe down or clean the counter after she was done?

      1. was the counter disinfected after she walked on it?

        1. TOTALLY uneasy! The other thing that really gets to me is when somebody sits their toddler in diapers on a counter while paying for takeout. Yuck!

          21 Replies
          1. re: jbsiegel

            how about letting their kids sit in diapers in the grocery cart?
            or letting their toddler kids stand and walk around in the large section of the cart with their shoes on?

            1. re: westsidegal

              Are you referring to the part of the cart designed for kids? Because I have no problem with that :)

              1. re: CanadaGirl

                if the kids are in diapers only, i have a problem with it.

                unless diaper technology has vastly changed in the last 20 years, they leak/ooze.

                think rotavirus. most kids get infected with it several times.

                1. re: westsidegal

                  Are you saying you've seen kids shopping who had diapers with nothing over them?! I've never seen that, and that is inappropriate.

                  However, as long as they are dressed, I'm fine with it. I always wipe the carts down though, including the handle.

                  1. re: CanadaGirl

                    yes, in the summertime i have seen that.
                    sometimes the only thing "over" the diaper is a onesie, which doesn't really cover it.

                    1. re: westsidegal

                      That's why grocery stores all have cart-wipes at the front door... if you're concerned that some little germ-carrier has been dirtying up the trolley, you can disinfect it before you touch it.
                      As for the OP, I sure hope that the follow-up to standing on the counter to write the menu was wiping it clean before they put food on it!

                    2. re: CanadaGirl

                      I've definitely seen parents toting around their children in shopping carts wearing only a diaper. And those kids usually have some type of food all over their face. I always suspected the clothing was probably also covered in food, and left in the car.

                    3. re: westsidegal

                      This is exactly why I don't use the top "kiddie seat" part of the shopping cart, ever. I just shut that part of the cart and lay everything on the bottom of the cart. I've read too many stories of "junior had an accident while we were out shopping" - which is a shame, since it does make a nice place to put cartons of eggs and loaves of bread - things you don't want squished.

                      1. re: khh1138

                        Well since this thread is straying a bit off topic I will add this to the list of ewwwww places for children.

                        Ball Pits!?!?!?! You know like at Mc Donalds or Chuck E Cheese........I would NEVER allow my children to play in those ball pits. All I could think of is the urine and possible worse soaked floor on the bottom of those things. They are vile ball filled petri dishes of germs!!

                        1. re: jrvedivici

                          Since we are off topic, I'll just throw it further off....

                          I cringe when a grocery store checker is obviously sick. I just envision all those germs getting all over my stuff....

                          (and I'm really NOT a germ freak at all...there are just some hot buttons)

                          1. re: jrvedivici

                            My kids, and their peers survived ball pits.

                            1. re: jeanmarieok

                              Hey, obviously millions of children have, I'll admit, it's just my "icky" factor.

                  2. re: jbsiegel

                    How about people letting their children out in public? I hate that.

                    Seriously, standing on the counter where they then place food. That's a no no. Usually I don't fret too much about a lot of the things with kids for some reason. Maybe it's because I raised 5. After the first time one of them goes to throw up and you try to "catch it" so it doesn't get on the couch your perspective changes a bit.

                    1. re: bobbert

                      people's standards seem to be much more relaxed if it's their own kid or a kid for which they are caring:
                      someone else's kid, now that's a different story.

                      1. re: westsidegal

                        Yeah, you're right. I guess I did hoave a different standard for my own children as I had a pretty good idea how clean they really were.
                        I do admit to having different standards for different types of places. In the instance of the OP's, I might have emailed the place with a " know, having your employee standing on the counter where you serve food...etc.) I've also been to places in my time (and it's been a pretty long time) where I've seen women actually dance on the bar where they served food. No one seemed to mind but pluck a diaper clad baby on the counter at Denny's - I'd probably have a problem with that.

                        1. re: bobbert

                          <<No one seemed to mind>>
                          especially if the women were wearing really high spike-heeled shoes. . . . . .

                      2. re: bobbert

                        I don't fret, at all, when it comes to innocent children who do what they do. They're children, not adults who should know better. It's the parents who I have a problem with that pick their children up and let them either stand or sit on the counter where there's an expectation of a clean space.
                        I've raised children and would never have allowed them to sit, stand or lay down on the counter.

                        1. re: latindancer

                          i wasn't finding fault with the diapered children, rather i was finding fault with the parents of the diapered children whose practices were practically a recipe for rotavirus dissemination.

                          i find it hard to believe that the parents didn't know that everything should be done to keep food and fecal matter completely separate.

                          1. re: westsidegal

                            It would seem perfectly logical, wsg, but I see it more often than I would like. I simply won't use the big shopping carts that babies can sit it.

                      3. re: jbsiegel

                        The baby in diapers on food surfaces is a huge pet peeve of mine.

                        It's one reason why I NEVER use the little front section of grocery carts. They are mostly used to sit small children in diapers and sometimes women's purses (that also commonly spend time on public restroom floors). Then people pick up the cart and put food in it. That's completely disgusting.

                        It does not matter if the kid has clothes over the diaper. Any parent can tell you that the things leak all the time.

                        I was in the store today and a guy rolled up next to me with a three-year old in the big part of the cart. It's snowy here so the kid got his muddy feet all over the cart.

                      4. No, the counter was not disinfected. :(

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Kat

                          counters, imho, even when people don't stand on them, need to be disinfected after each use (including counting out money on the counter, including people putting their briefcases/purses on the counter, etc) just the same as i treat my kitchen counter.