Lemons Are Dirty, Dirty Things

Dirty lemon bitches

I was at work the other day about to put a lemon wedge onto the glass of someones Diet Coke when I accidentally dropped it and watched the lemon fall to the floor. I sighed and bent down to pick it up to throw it in the trash because it would certainly be unsanitary to give a guest a lemon wedge that had fallen on the floor. I tossed the lemon into the garbage but then I thought about something. It’s not like that lemon was even clean to begin with. No one in a restaurant ever washes the fruit. They just don’t. When I am at home, I scrub the hell out of it because that piece of fruit has been all over the fucking place; in the hands of some migrant worker and then tossed into a bucket and then onto a truck and then into a shipping facility and then onto another truck and then into a grocery store. And you know some of the time it rolls around on the ground. Do you think that shit ever gets washed? Hell no. It’s as dirty as the bottom of a shoe of a man who just peed at a public urinal. But in the restaurant world, we look at that lemon and think, “Meh, clean enough. Slice that bitch up and put it in a drink.”

Am I the only one who believes that the bar fruit in a restaurant is one of the nastiest things on the planets? It’s right up there with that bowl of peanuts that sits on the bar at your favorite dive that everyone eats out of. Germy, nasty, bacteria-ridden, skanky shit. Bon appetite!

I wait tables and bitch about it on my blog, The Bitchy Waiter.

23 thoughts on “Lemons Are Dirty, Dirty Things

  1. The only restaurant I’ve ever worked at that actually washed everything was this crappy little diner. I work in a corporate chain now & asked where to wash them my first day. Basically was told people clean w lemons so they’re not dirty. Only a manager could use that logic. Whatever, saves me about 5 min everyday. Stick to limes. With vodka.

  2. I worked in a certain restaurant for some time that served a tomato salad. Five slices of tomato served on a leaf of lettuce, topped with sliced red onion and balsamic vinegar and finished with chiffoned basil and blue cheese crumbles. The pantry would make the salad and place it near the hot food line where it would either be run or matched up with a hot food order, like a soup. It’d stay cool enough BUT it was easy prey for waiters. Often, the servers would walk by and take a blue cheese crumble with their fingers and place it in their mouths. Then after 5-10 waiters had snacked off of said salad, it would be run to the table. I was guilty of this practice myself. It was just so delicious. Several times, I’d have to take the salad back to the pantry because the cheese had been “raped” so thoroughly that I couldn’t serve it. All they’d do was throw a little more cheese back on and out it went. Oh the service industry…

  3. Oohhhhh, thank you for the post. I live off of vodka martinis with a twist …of lemon rind. Ugh. (There's no amount of alcohol that can undo that nastiness.) I'll just have the vodka martinis at home. No wonder I keep getting sick!

  4. go ahead and order that cosmo…or anything with a twist of lemon, which requires the server or bartender to take their fingernail and dig out the pulp of the fruit, yummy

  5. We don't wash the lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, etc for any of the salads at the restaurant I work at. If the lemons have a sticker that says that they were grown in Mexico we have to wash them.

  6. I always put the garnish on the rim of a glass unless I know the customer expects me to put it in the drink. As for myself, I always order a drink without the fruit. Even if it was washed before being cut up, it gets touched every time someone reaches in to grab a wedge. Yuck.

  7. it always make me laugh when they talk about "cross-contamination" in the biz. We have our lemons in a bucket that EVERYONE has their hands in all day and night long. The people who dress our plates on the line wear gloves and then reach down and grab an oval tray. They were told to change gloves every time they touch a tray, yeah like they have time for that. I dont eat out very often, first cuz i cant afford it and second of all i can cook it cheaper and more safely at home. I NEED A NEW JOB

    1. You don’t have to use those stupid tongs? Ive decided the only people who can successfully get lime in corona bottles (in a timely fashion) on their first attempt must have been a pro at operation as a kid lol

  8. I used to just toss the lemon in there, but then I started thinking about how hideous and nasty it was, so I generally will put it on the rim of the glass now. Unless somebody's being a bitch, and then that person can have every last speck of fecal matter and germ-ridden material floating in their fucking water with lemon.

  9. LOL, this makes me think of our half and half. I hardly ever look at the date on those things before pouring. But the other day one of the bartenders checked the date and it was a month past… and I had used it just last night. Well then the bar back grabbed more from downstairs.. they were two weeks past and the manager told her to use it.. yuck.

  10. LOL at all these comments – these are (some of the) reasons why I'm really picky about where I eat out…and I try NOT to eat out if I can help it. Nas-tay….

  11. when I used to work at the restaurant which had a togo/pickup area, our manager/owner/chef would pick out the chicken, beef, or even seafood out of a meal that had not been picked up after 2 hours and recook it into the next order. We of course would get bitched at if we ate the cold chicken meal that was growing with bacteria. That place was hell. I will starve before I return to the food service industry.

    1. I didn’t even know you could get cartons of tomato juice…. We can only get the little glass mixer bottles. I guess that’s because it tastes like shit so few people ever actually ask for it and it goes rank.

  12. On top of the fact that lemons and limes aren't washed in some restaurants and bars, how about the fact that those lemon twists that people request in their martinis are nothing but pesticide-ridden pieces of fruit skin, unless the fruit has been grown in a home garden (extremely rare pretty much anywhere besides San Francisco)?At the bar I work at, we keep the garnish trays down below in the well where only the bartenders have access to them.

  13. Oh, dude. I was a bartender for years. That fruit gets shoved in the beer cooler or mouldy ice machine and taken out the next day. And the next and the next. It's radio active. Fark, did you ever wonder how old pearl onions can be before they just..vanish? I think this one dive I worked in had antique onions. And they served pickled eggs. Here, drunken puke that calls me "dear" have an egg, on the house. LMAO!

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