Reader shares stories of sanitation concerns
July 3, 2014 at 2:03 a.m.
Editor, the Advocate:
Sanitation training is needed for food workers, especially with more restaurants opening up in Victoria.
I have eaten in a lot of restaurants in Victoria, and the sanitation violations I see are alarming. They should also be alarming to the citizens of Victoria. The following are some of the violations I have noticed:
Scooping ice from ice bins without using a scoop. Can you imagine if the employee scooping the ice did not wash his/her hands after using the restroom?
Workers not washing their hands after touching areas that are dirty/contaminated and then fixing your food.
Workers placing their thumb inside a pitcher of water or tea when refilling your glass.
A server's hair hanging over the food as they serve it to you because their hair is not pulled up or in a hairnet.
A worker touches his or her nose or scratches his or her face, then fixes your food.
These violations might be seen as minor, but they can lead to serious illness.
It is time the city of Victoria required food workers to attend a 3- to 4-hour sanitation training course provided by the local health department and to charge for the course. Most cities already have some type of sanitation training in place for food workers. Their health departments are also allowed to impose fines if violations are severe. In Houston, if flies are visible in the dining or kitchen area, the establishment may be fined by the local health department. There is nothing worse than dining in a place where flies are present.
Some restaurants do a good job of training, but there are others that do not. This is because there is no accountability if the training does not take place.
There are restaurants that are always short staffed, so the training never takes place because they just throw the new person into the job. The excuse is that they never have time to train.
I acknowledge that most of the large-chain restaurants do require their managers to be Serv-Safe certified through the National Restaurant Association. However, it's the line workers who need the additional training in sanitation.
Robert C. Gonzales, Victoria