What's the grossest thing you've found/seen in a eating place?

Inspired by Venoma’s post in this thread, what is the grossest thing you’ve found in your food at a fast food place or restaurant, or what is the grossest thing you’ve seen there?
When I was working in a hospital in Saskatchewan, we always ate in the hospital cafeteria, eating the same food as the patients. One day I found a maggot in my soup - I took it back to the cashier, and she asked me if I wanted another bowl of soup!
“Unh, no thanks, I’ve had all the maggots I need today. How about just giving me my money back?”

Another time, I was buying a bagel from a little place in the food court where I was working, and the lady toasting it dropped it on the floor. She picked it up, brushed it off, and tried to hand it to me. After I finished picking my jaw up off the floor, I told her that I did not want the floor bagel, and could I have one that hadn’t been dropped on the floor yet? And oh, by the way, do you know the number of the health inspector for Calgary? (I wish I’d said that.)

Anyone else have any juicy stories?

This actually happened to my mother (thank god it wasn’t me cause I would have hurled), when we were eating lunch together at a Japanese restaurant. I was eating a donburi which is basically a mix of egg, chicken and vegetables over rice and my mom had this thing called a Curry Ramen which is basically Ramen flavored Curry. Now, let me add, Curry ramen is murky colored and you can’t see the bottom. She was eating all the noodles and vegetables first and usually saves the broth for drinking at the end. When she finally got to the end she lifted up her spoon and there was this brown stick like thing. What is it a hair? A piece of unwashed vegetables? Some curry spice that wasn’t disolved?? We looked over this thing that she put on her napkin, we both had a funny feeling about it…it looked a bit familiar. Then hestitatingly she picked up her spoon again and tried to scoop up stuff from the bottom… what was in her spoon?? A FUCKING THREE INCH LONG ROACH!!! AUGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! Now to make it a whole lot worse was that it was missing a few legs and it was almost halfway disintegrated. Which means she must have eaten some roach in the process. This roach was huge, Hawaii has some huge ass roaches, and it was in my mom’s ramen!! AUUGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHH! We both nearly puked and when the manager saw it he almost did too. Of course we got our money back and a gift certificate… Like HELLO? after that experience we’re going back to eat there?
As for my own experiences I’ve never had anything extremely gross in my food only the usual hair, metal shavings, and ocassional small insects here and there, but nothing as disgusting as a Curry-Flavored Roach.

I have a hard time going out to eat as I used to work in food service…one place where I worked had a kind of storm cellar where we stored extra food. Fine, except for the fact that the cellar was damper than it should have been. I particularly remember going down to get some peppers one time–stuck my hand in the box w/out looking and came up with a handful of pepper mush and these blackish-gray worms. Of course, any time you work in a restaurant you get to have the lovely experience of encountering food that’s gone bad in mass quantities…

When I was working at a bagel place, I saw a big old spider crawl out of the lettuce we kept behind the counter.

To me, the grossest part has always been the admixture that happens when you scrape plates into the trash or whatever…it’s just stomach-turning…and the smell of washing out ashtrays w/hot water is also pretty gross.

One of my friends was eating at a place here and felt something scamper across her foot…one of those mongo DC sewer rats. It apparently made a circuit of the dining area, visiting other patrons before scampering out the door.

Back when I was a college student, I was out for pizza with my roommate. The place was a student dive that had been around for ages and it was located in the basement of one of the old redbrick buildings in area. The decoration consisted of stacks of old books and “antiques” that probably hadn’t been dusted since the place opened.

We had just received our order, when my roommate gasped and pointed to a neighboring table that had just been vacated a few minutes before. There was a small swarm of cockroaches chowing down on what they had left.

We left, too.

My aunt owned a restaurant in a really old building. There was no getting rid of the rats and roaches.

I used to waitress there during the summer. One time, I walked into the restroom, and there was a giant rat sitting on the back of the toilet. I screamed and slammed the door. Unfortunately, that attracted the attention of the customers…

I found a fly in my salad once. I had already eaten almost all of the salad, and he was at the bottom of the salad, just lying on his little back in a puddle of oil and vinegar. Definitely gross, but the salad had tasted fine.

I didn’t finish it, though.

I used to work in a hospital that constantly had problems with cockroaches in the kitchen. The loading dock was right next door, and that’s where they would get in. Needless to say, I brought my own lunch to work.

I was served a salad once at a rather expensive restaurant that came with a dead fly topping - I think it had drowned in the dressing.

Years ago a friend of mine ordered a martini in Paris, which also came with a dead fly in it. He sent it back. The new drink had a fly frozen into one of the ice cubes.

A pizza place I used to work had a small problem with silverfish. Those buggers are nasty, and they would occasionally make it into a pizza box just before we sliced it–most of the time they just picked it off the top of the pizza and sent it out.

When I worked at a pizza place I had occasion to be cleaning out the women’s restroom, and there in one of the stalls was a USED, unrolled, and unwrapped maxi pad. I thought I was going to be sick. One of the hardest things I’ve ever done as a fast food worker was to sweep that nasty thing up and dispose of it. full body shudder

I didn’t see this, but a friend of mine went to this deli for a salad and the cashier was clipping his toenails at the counter.

I make the best damn fruit fly martinis in town and don’t you forget it!

The bar I worked at had quite a fruit fly problem. We had those lovely little soda guns at the bar, which was all fine and dandy until the gingerale line sprung a leak inside the bar itself and there was no way to get to the mess to clean it .

[OT] I have to wonder how many of you out there have ordered gingerale and been given a mixture of diet coke and sprite/7up–we were forced to do this after the leak was found[OT}

Soon we had a whole universe of fruit flies…it was especially fun when a new bunch hatched and the air became thick with them and they covered the posters on the wall behind the bar.

I came into work one night and and it got busy and someone ordered a martini-no problem. I pour the martini, give it to the server and think nothing of it. Moments later the server returned to the bar with the martini glass held far in front of her with a look of pure disgust on her face. She held the glass up to the light for me to see-it was pretty damn dark in the place-and it was only then I noticed the hundreds -I am so not kidding-of fruit flies swirling around in the gin.

Turns out that fruit flies really dig vermouth.


Just be glad that you’re not this guy.

thanks skidoo you’ve put me off my coke. :eek:

well this is kinda weak, but…

i worked summers in a place that had a 14’ ceiling in the ice machine room, just off the kitchen. for kicks, SOME employees would throw butter pats up to see if they could get them to stick. many did…

the grossest thing i saw was the blueish-green ooze hanging from the ceiling THE THIRD SUMMER IN A ROW!

that, and once the cook had a big snot hanging from his nose past his chin (but he didn’t touch it or let it fall!)

mixed noodles in HK once in a little store on the street they had some pigs intestines still full of shit 'nuff said

Well, this wasn’t at a restaurant, but it did involve buying food at a movie theater. I was munching on some popcorn a couple of years ago (“Bowfinger” was the movie) and I noticed a hard fragment in my mouth. At first, I thought it was just an unpopped kernel, but it turned out to be a metal rivet. I stuck it in my pocket (didn’t want to miss the movie) and brought it to the manager’s attention afterwards. This was a new chain-type theater that had just opened the week before or so, and apparently they didn’t exactly hire the greatest public relations people. When I told him (rather calmly, but still of course upset) and showed him what I had found, that son of a bitch didn’t offer me either an apology or anything else. All he could do was mumble something about how “that must be from the butter machine. Thanks.” Well, I told him that I didn’t exactly need to know where it came from, but rather would prefer my popcorn without rivets. Obviously I have never gone back to that theater, and I told the guy that if I were as much of a prick as he was, I’d sue his theater and he’d be out of a job. But instead I just walked out.

Back in 1974, I went out to eat with a group of friends after a football game. We selected Denny’s, one of the few restaurants open at that hour.

I ordered a Chef salad, to celebrate our victory over the rival football team. After tossing about the ham, hard-boiled egg and lettuce together with the Thousand Island dressing, I raised a forkful of salad to my mouth. And just in time noticed a spider hitchhiking on my morsel!

Not a dead spider, but a very live one. I swear, it waggled one of it’s eight legs (or maybe it was a fang?) at me!

When I pointed this out to our waitress, she deadpanned “It’s OK, we make them wash their feet before they get in the salad.”

That one-liner was enough to crack up our table of highschoolers. I have never eaten in a Denny’s since then, clean spider feet or not.:slight_smile:

My ex-husband…decidedly disgusting.

He’s a chef.

I worked at Starbucks for two years and the white mocha is probably the grossest thing ever. It comes in these squarish plastic bottles with handles and we used to put pumps in them but the pumps always clogged with the nasty viscous yellowish lumps the white mocha made. So we started pouring it into another, steel pump equipped reservoir and that cut down on the clumps, but really, at the end of the night, there’s nothing nastier than the bottom of one of those things.
One time I topped this woman’s Venti Extra Caramel and White Mocha Caramel White Mocha Frappuccino with a couple pumps of white mocha after the caramel. My soon-to-be bedmate was watching me top it, oozing the gooey white stuff out onto the whip and caramel ever so sssssllloowwwwllly… we’re both perverts so we were smiling at what it really looked like, but the lady was panting like a dog by the time I handed it over. The poor woman was a crap addict.
Also, but really not as gross to me as white mocha, our store had its fair share of homeless people who came in, ranted and raved, stole from tip jars or panhandled customers, and urinated and crapped all over the bathroom. My favourite was the time one apparently decided to fingerpaint with feces, and must have opened up some sores too, 'cuz there was a fair amount of blood around.
Man, what a terrible job that was. Once somebody made a horrendous mess in the bathroom, and rather than clean it up, the people on the morning shift hung up an out-of-order sign and left it for the night crew to deal with.
I really don’t think people who make coffee etc., and handle food should be sponging feces off the wall, but who else was there to do it?
At my local co-op I’ve been told that there is genuinely a ten second rule–i.e., if you pick it up off the floor before ten seconds have elapsed then the food is still fine and dandy to serve. I’m found of the catch it on the bounce rule.

I once found a chunk of wood in some gumbo…I don’t even like gumbo.