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    17 Restaurant Inspector Secrets And Stories That You Probably Shouldn't Read If You Enjoy Going Out To Eat

    "If you can't see a recent certificate of inspection or even a license in public view, get out immediately."

    Recently, we asked the restaurant inspectors of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us their secrets and horror stories from their days on the job. According to them, here are some of the grossest, wildest, and most disturbing things they've seen.

    Disney Pixar /

    DISCLAIMER: Obviously, we can't 100% confirm all of these stories, but these people are supposedly speaking from their own experiences at individual locations as alleged former employees.

    1. "I work with restaurants, and one particular Michelin-awarded, super high-class restaurant is my client. I went to the kitchen to talk to the chef about an ongoing order, and while I was talking to him, out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a huge thing that I first thought was a cat. It was a rat. An obese rat. When I pointed it out, the chef said, 'Oh, that's Frank, we leave him alone.' They fed the rat leftovers too."


    2. "I can't tell you how many times I've pulled the cap off of soda guns to see maggots crawling around in the buildup. Think about that next time you order a Coke at your favorite restaurant!"


    Coke /

    3. "My friend was inspecting a restaurant and walked out the back to find a man stirring a huge pot of curry. With his arm. No spoon or anything, just up to his hairy elbows in curry."


    4. "My uncle is a health inspector and once got several complaints about a fish and chips shop with reports of people getting chunks of hair in their hot chips..."

    "After my uncle saw the property and gave a few basic suggestions, the only other thing he noticed that needed immediate attention was the deep fryer itself. The oil was old and filthy, so he ordered the guy to drain it out right then and there. The owner did so, and at the bottom of the oil vat was a dead, deep-fried and Turned out, a few months before, the shop had been having a rodent problem, so the owner brought in a cat to catch them. He had thought the cat escaped overnight and ran away. Nope. All this to say, the clumps of hair locals were complaining about weren't from the half-man-half-wolf owner, but the fur and flesh of a dead cat."


    ABC /

    5. "I've been an inspector for 10 years. I've seen entire walk-in coolers they were using at 55–60°F and the staff didn't even notice anything wrong. I've seen piles of mice that died getting stuck in the grease behind the fryer. I've seen staff throw raw burgers on the grill, then make a salad right after. I've seen squirrels and birds roaming freely inside a bread manufacturer."


    6. "I went into one convenience store and oh, BOY! The pans, cooking utensils, etc., were so gross. Imagine if you cooked in the same pan every day for a year and never washed them, because when I went to inquire about how they were cleaned and how often, the answer was 'Well, the oven is 500°F, so why would we need to?' They cooked burgers, chicken, rib sandwiches, eggs, bacon, sausages, fish, and crab cakes all on the same pans, with cooking parchment, but apparently, they thought 500°F was enough to kill whatever was on anything."


    VH1 /

    7. "I've worked in several kitchens and fancy dining rooms. Every kitchen I worked in told the dishwashers to wash the mops in the dishwashing machine. One restaurant manager even told a dishwasher to put the bathroom plunger in the dishwashing machine."


    8. "My stepmother is the lead health inspector for a decent-sized suburban town. She told me that one time, a truck full of lobsters was traveling down the highway and crashed. As a board of health inspector, my stepmother was consulted to see if any of the lobsters were viable, and she told them no, the load was a total loss since there were literally lobsters scattered across the highway, covered in dirt, sand, etc. Fast-forward 24 hours and one of the restaurants in town ran a special: twin lobsters for $19.99! Apparently, the owner of the trucking company knew the restaurant owner pretty well, so they made a deal where the restaurant would pay a very discounted price for the 'road lobsters.' The restaurant illegally served the lobsters to unsuspecting customers and sold them out of a truck behind the restaurant."


    Nickelodeon /

    9. "Tip: Always look at the ends of hot dog grill rollers. If they're stained or look like anything is caked on them, beware!"


    Hallmark Channel /

    10. "I've seen cooks walking out of the bathroom with their rubber gloves still on, roach infestations in soft-serve machines, kitchens literally on the outside of buildings, countless restaurants with broken dishwashers, cooks who didn't wash their knives because it 'made them dull,' raw sewage backing up from the drains...I could go on forever. I've seen everything."


    11. "My family used to go to a Mexican restaurant all the time until it got shut down because after tables left, they'd save all the leftover salsa and re-serve it."


    12. "One time I was looking through a restaurant's dry storage room and there was a huge cockroach nest in their rice. It was one of those 100-pound bags, but there was a hole in the bottom. When I went to move it to look behind at the rest of their shelving, like 70 thumb-sized roaches fell on my feet, scrambling all over the floor and my pants."


    13. "At a restaurant near me, health inspectors found something leaking from the ceiling. When they lifted the ceiling tile and shined a flashlight, they saw multiple eyes staring back at them. It was chickens. They were raising chickens in the ceiling and chicken shit was dripping in the food."


    Netflix /

    14. "I once watched a bookstore café manager retrieve a plunger from the bathrooms, use it to unclog a dishwashing sink, and then proceed to continue washing dishes in that sink."


    15. "The most common critical violation? Dish machine not sanitizing properly."


    MTV /

    16. "I'm not a health inspector, but I worked as an assistant cook in a restaurant. Two weeks into the job, I opened a cupboard to get a can of tomato sauce and I saw a huge-ass tarantula scuttle away behind the cans. I told the boss what I had seen, so that maybe we could get someone to deal with the huge-ass spider living in the kitchen. The boss turned to me and said, 'I see you've met Eduardo. Just don't put your hand too close to him and you'll be good.' Later, another cook proceeded to explain to me that the spider had been living there for two years and they allowed it because he kept rodents and roaches away."


    17. And lastly, to sum it all up: "If you can't see a recent certificate of inspection or even a license in public view, get out immediately."


    OWN /

    Some answers are from r/AskReddit. All have been edited for length and/or clarity.

    Are YOU a restaurant inspector with a secret or horror story that rivals these?! If so, tell us in the comments!!!