View Full Version : Thirty-Second Rule?

06-10-2003, 11:35 AM
This was the morning discussion on the radio as I drove to work the other day:

Do most restaurants have a "30-second rule" or equivalent for their kitchen workers? This means that if something falls on the floor during food preparation, it's still OK to serve if you can get it back into the pan or onto the grill in 30 seconds or less.

The radio station asked for restaurant workers to call in anonymously and note whether their management had a "30-second rule". The calls were predominantly "yes", by at least a 2 to 1 margin. Some said 30 seconds, others 10, but most of the callers noted that their restaurant indeed had an informal policy for serving food off the floor.

One caller worked at Jack-in-the-Box. He didn't talk about a 30-second rule, but related a story of a customer who cursed him from the drive-through station because he had trouble repeating the order. So he removed the top bun from the guy's burger, wiped it around the inside of the toilet bowl, and put it back on the sandwich in time to be sacked and passed out the window. Talk about special sauce! Don't cuss the clown!


06-10-2003, 11:44 AM
This thread is going to degenerate quickly. I'll say my peace and not read the rest. I want to continue to eat in restaurants /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

Be nice to your servers because they control your food.

Don't send your steak back for more grill time unless the kitchen is in full view. The cook might get pissed and spit on it.

I worked in a kitchen for over a year. We sometimes used stuff that had been dropped but we washed it first and only if the cooking time would kill the germs.

I've heard lots of stories on the radio but I think a lot are made up. Very rare is the chef who would tolerate that kind of nonsense.

06-10-2003, 11:47 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Wally_in_Cincy:</font><hr> Very rare is the chef who would tolerate that kind of nonsense.<hr /></blockquote>hahahaha /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif Very rare is the chef at Jack-In-The-Box!

06-10-2003, 11:52 AM
Hey I'm being optimistic OK /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

Look, you have to eat so unless you raise all your own stuff your food is going to be handled by others.

Hopefully the advent of 24-hr video surveillance has helped eliminate some of that teenage, fast-food worker goof crap.

06-10-2003, 12:15 PM
That is just nasty. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif


06-10-2003, 12:32 PM
There was a Peter Sellers movie. I remember two naked women in the wine vat, and that immortal line: "The wine hasn't tasted the same since Fifi left."

9 Ball Girl
06-10-2003, 01:45 PM
Too bad you're not in NY. The Daily News posted a listed of New York's dirtiest (worst health violations) restaurants.

Dirty Restaurants (click here if you dare) (

06-10-2003, 02:06 PM
I have worked in resturaunts where we invoked the 3 second rule. I would never spit on anyones food and I never complain or send back food in a resturaunt. If my food sucks or the service is bad then the tip is bad. That's it.


06-10-2003, 02:37 PM
I ordered a chicken sandwich from Bogangles last week and made the mistake of asking what came on it. The guy taking my order told me "just whatever sticks to it when it hits the floor". I have to admit it was pretty spicy.

06-10-2003, 04:24 PM
True or not, I knew a fellow, years ago that worked for Hershey candy co. He told me one day a co worker threw a mouse in the chocolate. I rarely eat chocolate but I've thought about that more than once over the years. LOL


06-11-2003, 03:41 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SpiderMan:</font><hr>most of the callers noted that their restaurant indeed had an informal policy for serving food off the floor.<hr /></blockquote>I worked in a kitchen for a few years, and my father owned some bars and restaurants that I was around sometimes. In all the places I knew of, most things were not thrown out if they were dropped. I never saw something like a piece of meat or fish not get picked up immediately. Something like a vegetable that spilled out of a bag might stay on the ground for a while if it was unnoticed.

Anyway, where do vegetables come from? They are either grown underground in dirt where animals deficate, worms and insects crawl around, and the farmer spreads manure, or they grow above ground where the farmer sprays them with poison to kill the insects that are crawling around on them. Ok, who's hungry?

If you dropped a potato or a carrot or a chicken or a steak on the floor in your home kitchen, would you throw it out or would you rinse it off and use it? My guess is 95% or more of the home cooks would pick it up and use it. I'd guess about the same percentage would be true for restaurants. On the other hand, if a kitchen worker dropped food a lot, he would probably be counseled to be more careful and if he continued to do it a lot he might lose his job.


06-11-2003, 09:34 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Wally_in_Cincy:</font><hr>
Hopefully the advent of 24-hr video surveillance has helped eliminate some of that teenage, fast-food worker goof crap. <hr /></blockquote>

Wally no offense, but if you believe this only happend in fast food and from teeanger, take the red pill, you're living a dream !

I have 6 years of restaurant and hotels experience. I work in fast food (Wendy's) and 4 stars hotels. Believe it or not, rules about food control and manipulation was of a higher standard in Wendy's than the 4 stars restaurants.

Mainly because in big hotel the staff is syndicated (union workers) and they don't give a damn about doing a good job.

I have seen all sorts of stuff done to customers' food who were complaining only to watch them smile and appear satisfied once they believe they got what they wanted...


Customers return his steak because he said it's too cooked.

Chef throw it on the floor, pans it on both side and return the same steak even more cooked. /ccboard/images/graemlins/shocked.gif

Customer thanked the waiter and told him this time the chef had it right. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif

06-11-2003, 10:57 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Wally_in_Cincy:</font><hr>
Don't send your steak back.... <hr /></blockquote> /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

06-11-2003, 11:21 AM
I guess I would rather not know, but also hope that whatever my food goes through before it gets to me that it is still clean and germ free. Praying helps haha /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif

06-11-2003, 11:41 AM
I'm like you Nightstalker,i would rather not know!!You just pray that someone with a chip on his shoulder decide to wipe his ass with your steak. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif