Cross contamination in restaurants

Alexia

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Does this worry you? I know it does some people, but I have to trust that the chefs do use different utensils for meat and don't pick up any spatula.

I know in buffets they do have them and I do get wary in breakfast ones about cross contamination. I met one vegan that wouldn't use a salad bar because of her fear even though the salad bar hadn't been touched by any one yet as we were the first there.
 

dawnwan

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Alexia said:
Does this worry you? I know it does some people, but I have to trust that the chefs do use different utensils for meat and don't pick up any spatula.

I know in buffets they do have them and I do get wary in breakfast ones about cross contamination. I met one vegan that wouldn't use a salad bar because of her fear even though the salad bar hadn't been touched by any one yet as we were the first there.

Well, actually, yes it does worry me.  It worries me, when I order something fried, and the same grease is used for both the meat and veggie products, because it ruins the meal for me. 

I mean, my taste buds do not care for it!  For example, I wanted to try out this new chinese resteraunt, down the road, and immediately thought, oh no, yuck.  I taste chicken.  Never went back there. 

Now, you have me wondering about the utensils.  Well, good thing, I do not go out to  eat often. Does this worry you?
 

erilol

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I have found a chunk of beef in my Taco Bell burrito, or gotten cheese on something, or received a basket of chips that tasted like fish because the cook accidentally used the oil vat for fish.

Cross-contamination is just that: A risk that you will eat animal products. The amount of risk depends on the venue, but if the risk is low enough I don't think too much about it.
 
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Alexia

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When I go to vegetarian places I don't have that concern, but I have learned to be as flexible as possible. Most buffets have different tongs for the dishes, but it is mainly the inconsideration of other users that creates cross contamination. In that case I just ask for a new set of tongs or use a clean fork instead.
 

SweetPea

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I think about these things as it pertains to meats (I am not vegan but I am so tired of meat and therefore may eat it -chicken or fish- only once per week). If I must eat out (which is quite rare), I am very selective of the place...it must be opened and clean or already has a good reputation. Just the thought that something I don't eat (or shouldn't eat) is being prepared at the same location, is enough reason for me not to eat at the place. So, does it concern me, does it worry me? YES :D .
 

xXTHEICEXx

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I used to work at Wendys as a "Grill". The employees told me that I do not have to use gloves to touch the meat as long I have watched my hands, but I knew washing my hands was not enough for me because I felt uncomfortable about touching it. I used gloves if I am handling any food, and I would change them about 10-20 times. Now the sandwich makers are a different story. I had this one manager that would never change her gloves, and she would eat with the same gloves that she prepared the sandwiches for the customers.
 

Josie

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I don't eat out. I'm a completely plant based eater, so I don't know many places I would be happy eating at. Not that I wouldn't go to a restaurant that serves meat, but I'd mainly only have the option of salad or salad lol, I can do that at home. I have noticed some restaurants in my new city that look like they cater to people like me though, so I'm thinking of giving them a shot to get some new ideas for our menu at home.
 

Sunflogun

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I am not surprised that it is something that happens. If we want to be vegan and we want to make sure that nothing wrong comes into out plate, the only solution is the one you mention Josie, not to eat out.

Like TheIce says, not wearing gloves can create an issue for every single dish.
 

Connie

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I generally only eat out at vegetarian restaurants. As a rule, they tend to be small and personal and being allergic to dairy products means that it is quite easy for me to ensure that I don't have cross contamination as an issue.

Even getting a latte in a service station is OK because the moment you mention allergy, everything gets changed for freshly washed stuff, so all the jugs, whisks, temperature probes and even the steam nozzles are all changed in front of me.

But as a rule, I don't generally eat out. I take my own food to service stations which we eat in the car and other than the odd latte here and there (Demerara sugar, so brown cane sugar which is OK) I know I am pretty much OK, however without that 'allergy' tag (and it is a genuine anaphylactic shock allergy, not an intolerance to dairy) I can see how the cross contamination could easily be a problem.
 
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LilAnn

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On the rare occasion I eat out I have to convince myself that ignorance is bliss, and I should take it for granted that they are a lot cleaner and a lot more careful than they were in the restaurants I worked at.
 

Monica

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I am positive that cross contamination occurs at almost every non-vegetarian restaurant, especially when ordering a veggie burger at a steakhouse. If you don't mind (or can easily not think about it), I think it's good for vegans to order at mainstream restaurants so we can tell the public that we want plant-based food! I hate when my only option at restaurants are a plain salad or bowl of broccoli. I also highly doubt that they use different spatulas... at least at the steakhouse. :/
 
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LilAnn

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I am positive that cross contamination occurs at almost every non-vegetarian restaurant, especially when ordering a veggie burger at a steakhouse. If you don't mind (or can easily not think about it), I think it's good for vegans to order at mainstream restaurants so we can tell the public that we want plant-based food! I hate when my only option at restaurants are a plain salad or bowl of broccoli. I also highly doubt that they use different spatulas... at least at the steakhouse. :/
One of the restaurants I worked at had veggie burgers. They were cooked in grease, in the exact same spot as the burgers, and with the same spatula.
 

Alexia

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One of the restaurants I worked at had veggie burgers. They were cooked in grease, in the exact same spot as the burgers, and with the same spatula.

If i can I watch someone when they cook and I have at times stopped them using the same tongs or spatula. Some people just don't have the training or sense to do it if they are not vegetarian. When I am at barbecues I tend to help out to make sure there are separate utensils for vegetarians and if someone forgets I'm nearby to remind them.

It can be a pain and some may think I am, but how difficult is it to comprehend? You use a different set of tongs for each meat item, too, so why not vegetarian ones as well?
 

Andy_T

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Yes, I also prefer to eat at vegetarian only places, not only to avoid cross contamination, but also to support those.
 

Andy_T

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We are not even talking about cross contamination with food-borne illnesses.

This is simply about finding some disgusting piece of animal product in your supposedly vegan food.

Happened to me at an Indian "Buffet style" restaurant ... the curry I ate (I inquired with the waiter whether it was vegetarien - yes, of course, sure is!) did have some chunks of chicken meat in it that other guests likely involuntarily dropped in there, when they helped themselves to the meat curry. Never again, for me...

Best regards,
Andy