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The Eagle's Eye

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A Pinch of Salt, a Heaping Mound of Love, and… Three Cockroaches?!

Why You Should Be Concerned With Sanitation, Not Just Taste and Cost.

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We’ve all had fast food. Whether we claim to like it or not, sometimes the grease get to the best of us and we smash some burgers, tacos, or fried chicken. While 100% of fast food eaters know it isn’t clean for our bodies, how many actually stop and think, is the food clean at all?

No restaurant can maintain complete cleanliness as they hit rushes, especially the ones with grease everywhere and no minimum wage employees eager to clean it. However, most manage are sure to stay on top and maintain relatively good cleanliness. While some grease shacks have their lack of this cleaning overlooked *cough* Gene and Jude’s *cough,* the majority of business lose customers if they fall behind in their cleaning. However, major fast food chains have managed to escape this treatment. While local family restaurants get punished for filthy floors and rodents, no one ever assumes it from the big names and tend to just skip straight to ordering.

Oh it’s actually quite contrary, at least according to a NBC Dateline Investigation. While 45% of all restaurants get hit with a critical violation, that number increases a third to 60% (by NBC’s statistical test) when dealing with major fast food chains. The scariest part is that these chains make up a great deal of the restaurants in America, so it is unsure what the percent is for non-chain restaurants. “I eat out a couple times a week, especially now in college,” Teo Vargas, former Eagle, current Trojan explains, “and when I choose a Wendy’s or BK, I never pay much mind to the cleanliness since I assumed they had it under control.” This is a major mistake people make. According to NBC, family restaurants tend have a passion for cooking and are strict in their procedures while fast food has underpaid teens who are only there so they can go to a different chain and spend their money.

In the 1,000 restaurant investigation, there were 1,755 critical violations- yes, critical as in requir

ing a follow up inspection and potential closing- in 613 of the restaurants. And one of the scariest parts is that Taco Bell actually had the least violations and restaurants. Taco Bell should not lead any restaurant discussion other than what does your drunk cousin get as midnight and what food will force you to be on a toilet for hours in agony.

All jokes aside, this topic is too serious to not be talked about.

(Look it up, it happened)

“The first thing I do when I eat out is check the floors, walls, and ceiling,” head culinary teacher Ms. Nichole Sweeney describes, “if it’s nasty, I’ll leave. I wish everyone else did this as well.” While not many will be able to do what Sweeney does, it is the right thing. Eating unsanitary foods can cause nasty ailes like diarrhea, or serious illness like botulism with a fatality rate of 10%. That’s low, you assume, but you can botulism from a dented can. If something that simple can cause that and still isn’t fixed, imagined all the crazy stuff that happens behind the scenes of those nuggets and fries.

Luckily, sanitation is on the rise. Before the turn of the millennium, inspections were relatively rare and when they did happen, it was about the relationship between the inspector and restaurant. After countless complaints, cleaning is the new norm! “As a culinary teacher, sanitation is a huge component of my classes,” “No matter if it’s one of the prerequisites or Catering, we spend a week or two talking about cleaning.”

So next team you have an urge to grab a dollar fry and two junior burgers, be sure to examine the restaurant. The last thing you want is for that heavily processed bite to be your last!

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Keeping watch over student news at East Leyden High School
A Pinch of Salt, a Heaping Mound of Love, and… Three Cockroaches?!