A “check the toilets” reminder to find staff who don’t care about food safety

Toilets reveal both attitude and action

I pulled into a bakery/restaurant on the Sunday evening in the middle of the long weekend. It was busy, but I’ve seen the place busier. It’s a popular bakery and it is right next to the freeway.

I decided to head to the bathroom before ordering, and it was the start of a shocking experience. The smell as I stepped in nearly made me gag. Chances are the smell is the result of a recent inhabitant, but it was enough to throw me into food safety mode. I did a quick inspection and the toilets were dirty, toilet paper on the floor, and the usual demonstration of men’s inability to aim.

It was like stepping into a trucky stop from the eighties.

I may exaggerate a bit, but let’s get this really, really clear – people on social media exaggerate A LOT.

So at this stage it was clear that the toilets had not been cleaned recently. Not a good start.

Remember –

“Want to know what a restaurant’s attention to food safety is without entering the kitchen?

Look at the toilets and rubbish bins.

If staff take the time to keep them neat and clean then they will probably be looking after everything with the same care.

If they are a disgusting mess then consider eating elsewhere.”

(The Rotten Food Cookbook – Page 56)

But it gets worse

I take the safe option and buy just a coffee.

As I get my coffee from the barista, I ask to see the manager. No manager in, but there is a supervisor. Can I see the supervisor? No problem…

And that’s when this bakery really bombed out – this young guy standing nearby said he would handle it. The barista says OK. I assume this is someone with a bit of authority.

I hand over a copy of The Rotten Food Cookbook, dog eared to page 56, and tell him that the condition of the toilets is a shocker. His response was priceless

“It doesn’t surprise me, it’s been busy.”

But wait, there’s more

I created the video above when I stepped out. I wasn’t going to post it if they responded to my complaint. I rang up on Wednesday to talk to management. They had no idea that I complained. The complaint was not passed onto the supervisor. They actually have a complaint book, and it wasn’t entered in the complaint book.

This guy ignored the complaint.

And so I am posting the video.

As a direct result of this guy’s actions and inactions, I am posting a public comment on the business. My goal is to make a point, not shame the bakery. If I wanted to shame the bakery I would head straight to Facebook.

What does it say about food safety at the bakery?

In theory, the management at this bakery is doing everything right. They have a complaints book and contacted me again after I called them on Wednesday. They are about to renovate the toilets. They have food safety procedures in place.

Except they have at least one staff member who just doesn’t give a toss.

And is prepared to hide complaints about food safety.

Is that a culture within the bakery, a recruitment issue, a one-off dud, or just a kid who has had a long day?

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