Like many people, I enjoy an occasional, cold, high-quality beer. Whether it’s imported or domestic, a lager, ale, pilsner or stout, few things beat sipping from a cold mug on Sunday.
There is a one pub/restaurant in particular that I frequent, not just for their excellent selection of beer, but also for the wonderful hamburgers they serve. I’ve heard them called the best in the city. They have butter buns and are grilled in such a way that even when cooked medium well, they stay juicy and flavorful.
Well, I stopped in the other day around two p.m. Given that it was mid-afternoon, and a Sunday, the place was nearly deserted. So, I grabbed the seat near the window, which is almost always taken, and ordered a Smithwick’s Irish Ale. When I looked up, I realized that I had a clear view right into the kitchen. This, I knew, could be a good or a bad thing. I loved the food here, and knowing what goes on in the kitchen could quickly ruin what has become one of my favorite destinations.
Naturally, my curiosity got the best of me. Much to my delight, I had no complaints. The cook, I soon found out, was named Ron. He kept the kitchen spotless. He washed his hands multiple times while preparing my meal . Nothing which needed to be refrigerated stayed out for more than a minute or two, and all surfaces were sanitized immediately after being used.
After finishing my hamburger, which was amazing, Ron came out of the kitchen. He was off work. I called him over and after complimenting his culinary skill I commented on how impressed I was by the cleanliness he demonstrated.
He looked at me with an almost shocked expression on his face and said,
“Well of course my kitchen is clean. How would I feel if someone got sick on my watch?” He paused and then and said, “My wife and children eat here.”
I was, naturally, very impressed. I offered to buy him a beer. He declined politely, telling me he didn’t much like beer. Well, I thought to myself, nobody’s perfect.
In any case, Ron is our newest Food Safety Hero. If you see him this weekend, or someone like him, please take a moment to say "thanks."