When going out to eat, your main concern is probably what's on the menu, not what you can't see: the state of the restaurant's kitchen. But as this list of the nastiest things health inspectors have found in kitchens illustrates, maybe you should be a little more concerned about the folks preparing your meal and what they're doing (or not doing) beyond the dining room.
This rundown of gross health inspector discoveries comes courtesy of Reddit. There, inspectors themselves share the downright ickiest things they've come across. Be warned: most of these stories aren't for the faint of heart - or the light of stomach.
Cockroaches In The Soft-Serve Machine
From Redditor /u/dnniezab:
I was [inspecting] a popular buffet chain and couldn't find the roaches I smelled. I looked everywhere. I called my buddy who was a pest control officer. He came in, grabbed a LARGE shop vac, and said, "Move fast." He lifted off the back of the soft-serve ice cream machine, and [cockroaches] poured out like a waterfall all over the floor. We got them all cleaned up.
Soft-serve ice cream machines all leak, and typically they're not cleaned well. Hot, wet, and dark is the perfect place for an infestation.
Mice Droppings On The Baked Goods
From Redditor /u/Syrenay:
Health inspector here. I went for a routine inspection at a cafe/restaurant. I went into the walk-in cooler to check food temps, verify the food is properly separated, etc. I noticed numerous mice droppings all over the food, and when I started moving containers around, there were mice traps throughout the refrigerator.
The owner simply said, "Oh, mice came in a shipment of food so we are doing our best to control it." I checked the baked goods on the display shelf, and they were basically sprinkled in mice droppings as well. The business was closed for days and summonses issued.
From Redditor /u/tolliwood:
The lady washing the dishes at the cash register was the same lady who cleaned the toilets and made the dumplings.
She never washed her hands.
Cockroaches On The Prepared Food
From Redditor /u/scuba_starbuck:
A restaurant so infested with roaches, the roaches were crawling over the prepared food, and the wait staff were just flicking them off, then bringing the plates to the customers.