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Monday, August 19, 2013

Why I Don't Eat at Restaurants

Oh boy, where to even start with this one!  I used to like to eat out, but now all I think about is all the "what-ifs"--what could be a problem when I eat out??  For starters, I don't like to think of people making me food. When I make my own food at home, at least I know I've washed my hands, and I have clean dishes/utensils.  If I have to wash my hands 5 times throughout the course of preparing a meal, you can probably see why I would have a hard time trusting someone else to prepare my meal.  Now to be honest, we know that people that handle food are "supposed" to wash their hands when they start a shift.  But, do they?  I don't know.  That's where the uncertainty comes in.  I don't imagine people washing their hands as often as I would, so it makes me leary to eat the food.  I basically only eat at 3 take out places, otherwise I make my own food.  There are a couple of fast food restaurants that we have eaten at for years and a pizza place that I will go to right now.  I truly don't like the eating out experience.  My birthday was this past week and both my parents and my in-laws wanted to take our family out to dinner.  I declined both invitations.  I don't know how to decline without seeming rude, but eating out is very stressful to me and I don't want to go through it.  So I avoid.  Here are some examples of things that I have seen at restaurants or eating out that have bothered me or added to my "eating out phobia":
1.  The waiter is basically the busboy too.  It is probably a fair assumption that most waiters are not washing their hands after they take back the dirty dishes of the other tables they are waiting on, before they bring out the clean plates of food to your table.  Also they are literally breathing right on the trays that they carry on their shoulders.  I have seen the food hanging off the plate when its a big portion size and maybe brushing up against the waiters clothing.  Not to mention them carrying it through the restaurant and what if someone they are walking by coughs or sneezes right on it??!!??!!
2.  I can't stand the thought of eating off plates/silverware that other people I don't even know have eaten off of.  The plates are manageable for me if we HAVE to go out to eat, (and when I say HAVE to go out to eat it is usually because we are going out for a holiday/birthday celebration/something on my husbands side of the family) but I will not use the silverware or drink from the glasses.  I do not want my lips on things that other peoples mouths have been on.  I will always get a burger or sandwich when we go out to eat and go wash my hands before dinner.  Nothing that requires silverware.  (One time we went to a family wedding and I brought my own silverware for my daughter and I and swapped it out).
3.  I am pretty sure that once when I went through a drive thru the same person took my money as made my food.  That is gross to me to think of handling money/credit cards from many people and then going back and assembling my food.
4.  When the waiter puts the straw in your glass, how do you know they have washed their hands?  You DON'T!!!
5.  How do you know the person making your food has actually washed their hands?  What if they just took the trash out?  Or took a call on their cell phone?  Or went to the bathroom?  Or wiped some mess up of the floor and then went back to cooking?  How do you know they are washing up after touching raw meat before putting together your food?
6.  How do you know the dishes are actually being sanitized, OR what if there is a pile of dishes that were rinsed off that the dishwashers thought were clean, but they actually weren't and they went out for use by other people without actually being washed?
7.  I ordered a pizza one night and the man that rang up my order had a cut on his finger.  How do you know that blood/bodily fluids aren't getting into your food when someone handles it?
8.  I have had food "thrown in a bag" literally before, where it almost looks like someone unwrapped the food and then realized it wasn't their order and brought it back in the restaurant and it got to me.  Now I know my mind is really going there, but it could happen!  When food isn't neatly wrapped, that concerns me.
9.  I have a wart on my finger currently..probably honestly from washing my hands all the time and destroying my skin.  I wear a glove often when I have to use that hand to handle food.  What if the person preparing my food has warts on their hands?
10.  I would not eat at a buffet.  I have seen too many disturbing things there, to even start on that one...
11.  I stopped buying deli meat recently, because of too many disturbing things I saw there.  Behind the deli counter they wear gloves to get your meat.  There have been SO many times where the person behind the counter was washing down the meat cutter with a washcloth/solution, and they come directly over to get meat out of the counter without even changing their gloves!  One time someone was sweeping with a broo mand dustpan cleaning up the floor, then came over to get meat out too.  Now usually I go ahead and just ask for the meat, then go dump it in a refrigerated section somewhere, because I'm not going to eat it, so I'm not going to buy it!
These are just a few examples.  I could go on and on and on to provide more, but you get the idea...Basically OCD just puts me on imagination overload and my mind starts spinning and going in 100 different directions of what could happen.  I've seen enough things to where I completely trust in others.  To the point where I just don't want to eat out anymore.  I also am lately having a problem with packaged food at the grocery store...just all your regular items, I will post about this soon too.  Eating is really getting to be a problem for me.  I have thrown out entire meals I made myself and even meals I've ordered out.  I was really frustrated the other night because I ordered a pizza...the only pizza place I feel comfortable anymore, and there was a problem.  The pizza is supposed to be cut in 16 pieces.  When I got home, 1/4 of the pizza was separated from the rest and it almost looked like someone had pulled 4 of the pieces off.  Of course my mind got spinning and I was worried...what if someone else took our pizza and started taking pieces off, then put them back?  What if the pizza fell on the floor somehow and they had to "put it back together".  I know it sounds crazy, but hence OCD.  I just couldn't eat it at that point.  I threw the entire pizza outside in the trash....$18 wasted.  OCD is a big money waster too.  A time waster.  More subjects for me to write about soon.

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