Should We Be Eating Out Right Now?

Is eating out hazardous to your health?

Those of you who follow me know that I am somewhat of a foodie.  Just because I am not overweight does not mean that I don’t enjoy the food.  In fact, I love the flavors, texture and so much more about eating than just performing some function.

Eating is critical to life but, why not enjoy it?

Today I was running around and stopped by the Galleria.  I like to shop in case you did not catch that from my many posts.  While I may or may not purchase anything, I want to get out among people, talk to them and live that life that I love so much.

Before leaving the Galleria, I stopped at the Mexican food place down by the skating rink.  Watching the young ladies work together with trainers to learn to skate for a few moments reminded me of my young self-spending time on frozen ponds up north where they can do such things.

Enjoying the company of a friend our conversations were sidetracked when I noticed one of the wait staff coughing and sneezing around food.  “Oh crap, that is not good.”

A young man brought our food, but still, I was watching her.  This young woman wiped her running nose with her hand and went back to getting chips out of the machine for another guest.

I won’t belabor the point anymore on this person’s poor hygiene.  There is another more pressing point to this blog that I want to drive home.

The flu shot this year missed the mark.  It was ineffective. Flu deaths are on the rise and emergency rooms at some of the local hospitals are crowded with Flu victims.  Here is this young lady coughing, runny nose wiping her viral or bacterial laden mucus on her hands and clothing and then serving your food.

This dinner was at a Mexican Food place somewhat upscale in the Galleria in Dallas.  If I saw this as a patron who pays attention to details, I must wonder how many other places we eat at have employees with poor hygiene.

While Traveling not too long ago, I was in a place where a trip to the bathroom had me witness a server leaving the bathroom after doing their business without washing their hands.  I sent a letter to the place as an FYI with no follow-up or recognition from the place.  So I won’t go back there.

I would call on all food service places to drive the point of proper hygiene home to their employees.  The flu to a young reasonable healthy person may be just an inconvenience but that virus making its way to someone not near as healthy could be a death sentence.

I think it is also worth mentioning that here in Texas and many places in the US we have this very beautiful looking tree called a Cedar Juniper.

juniper2

Why am I talking about a tree when I am trying to weave a cautionary tale about hygiene and the flu?

Simple actually.  This tree causes   Cedar Fever.  These trees are everywhere and pollinate on such a massive scale that they affect too many to count.

Itchy watery eyes to sinus issues start out the “fever.”

juniper pollen 2

The pollen a little thing that resembles a sandbur attacks your sinus cavities and cause them to react by, producing more mucus to wash away the offending trigger.  The irritated sinus cavity swells and traps pockets of slime where bacterial now have this beautiful warm moist place to set up house.  Bacteria multiply quickly, and now you have a bacterial infection all started with a little pollen.

Cedar Fever season runs parallel with Flu Season.  Coincidence?

My point to this is the flu, and simple allergies might be an easy miss diagnosis.  Once an infection sets up house, your body reacts.  Raising your temperature to fight the antagonist has the patient now feeling quite miserable along with a plugged up head, sore throat and so on.  A person with a weakened immune system might be adversely affected enough by secondary pneumonia.

If these things are so nasty why in the world are they planted along major highways, in every yard and just everywhere?

juniper1

On cold winter nights, you might look up at the moon and see a halo around it.  That halo could be and often is caused by the massive amounts of this very pollen in the atmosphere!

astro bob pollen moon

If you become ill this season before you go diagnosing yourself check with your doctor.  Yes, they are busy this time of year as this pollen is particularly nasty.  If you reach down and it feels like your head is about to explode you probably have Cedar Fever but take care, there is hope.

Visit your doctor about things you can do to mitigate the effects of this pollen, so you don’t have to suffer year after year.

If you are like me and don’t like the idea of wait staff not taking care to observe proper hygiene, I will share with you a few simple tricks that I do when I go to a restaurant.

Before I share that however let me just say that eating out to me is not about feeding this machine to have the energy to write pithy blogs or tales of immoral sexuality on some alien world.  To me eating out is an event!  Indeed everything that I do including talking to you in this blog is an event!  I treasure my time here on earth, and I value how I use it.

These blogs are one of my ways of giving back to a world that I have been on for some time.  Yes, they are also about marketing my brand.  AuthorTWScott is a brand that I treasure.  With 26 books published and Number 27 already at 7000 plus words into it, I depend on you my readers to tell your friends and family about this excellent writer you know… LOL  Ok how about above average?

Step one, get seated and take your time to look over the menu.  While you are looking over the menu take notice of the cleanliness of the tables, floors, and windows if you are near them.  While you are observing that, actually look at the surface of the menu itself.  Is it clean?  Were you aware that the cover of the menu is one of the most bacterial laden things you can touch in a restaurant?

Excellent eating establishments will have the buss people carry around a bottle of spray disinfectant that they will use after each table is cleared on both the table and the seats.

Look at the wait staff and just noticed their appearance.  Are they sloppy dressed, do they appear to have just climbed out of bed and thrown clothes on?  Yeah, don’t get those for wait staff.  If they don’t care about their appearance, they probably don’t care about washing their hands either.

Now you go and wash your hands which is your last place to check and see if you want to eat there or not.  Is the bathroom tidy? Is it cleaned and well maintained or is it a stinky mess?  If their bathrooms are a mess then you should not eat there as that same kind of attention to the bathroom will most certainly be employed in the kitchen.

This is why I have favorite places that I go so I don’t have to go through this every time I eat out.  One other trick if you like a place, and intend to go back, get to know the manager.  Make friendly conversation with him or her and get to know their name.  In future return trips, you might ask your server two things.  What is their name and then ask if (Joe or Bob or Jane the manager) is working today?

This does two things, it puts your server on notice that you know who they are and that you know the manager.  This is not a threatening thing, this is a friendly conversation between you and them.  I clearly want to point out that I tip well and I expect friendly courteous service.  TIPs actually stand for (To Insure Prompt Service).

I want and expect excellent service, but I reward it too.  I get to know their name, and I use it.  People like to hear their name, and they are no less a person than you are.  They are choosing to do that line of work, and I want them to be the best at it that they can be.  This starts with me by treating them as I would want to be treated.  That includes a decent tip.

One life tip that I would also proffer that I actually learned from a waitress many years ago is this: If you cannot smile at your job, find another job.  Life is too short to be miserable at what you do.

Much Love! -TW

 

Author: AuthorTWScott

Author, Writer, Artist ... Over 30 published novels crossing many genres. www.authortwscott.com

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