Reporting unsanitary conditions in local restaurants


[quote=“urodacus”][quote=“Charlie Phillips”]I like how people quote fear of salmonella as a reason for (over)policing mom and pop streetside eating places. I’ve heard of salmonella in corporate-brand peanut butter and mass produced processed foods but how often do you get salmonella from a street vendor due to ‘unsanitary conditions’?

It’s kind of like bringing in ultra-regulation of Chinese medicine vendors because big pharmaceutical companies managed to sell you on Vioxx and Thalidomide.

Unsanitary conditions might give you a stomach ache and some watery diarrhea but next time, your guts will be able to handle it like the locals do.

What doesn’t kill you can only make you stronger. Take the risk, it’s worth it.[/quote]

That’s crap, Charlie. Unsanitary conditions can do much more than just give you a stomach ache: bacterial food poisoning kills many many people every year, and it’s totally avoidable. Next time, you may not be able to handle it just like the locals do because next time you may be dead, or have had your colon removed because it necrosed, or developed rectal or colon cancer.

This pretend nietzschean ideal that you espouse is simply unhelpful at best, downright dangerous at worst, and condoning the perpetuation of a system that allows it to flourish is backwards in the extreme. Food regulations, and the ‘fascist’ food inspectors, are not out to get you, they are there for everyone’s benefit. If you don;t like them, Sure YOU can go and eat sewage, but I sure as hell don’t have any desire to.

and let’s not start on the topic of your precious Chinese ‘medicines’. Have you actually got any idea of the scale of counterfeiting, drug substitution and poisoning from TCM preparations and pills? Or much proof that they are always better, and that Western medicine is the bogey man you are whipping up here?[/quote]

Seriously, Charlie, head out from bum time, mate.
I’m with the Doc here.
Simply to add that, yes, you as a fit Western-nourished man in the prime of your life may be able to throw off the odd trychinosis bug, but do you have any idea how little of any of that stuff it takes to just plain KILL a little baby or an auld folk?
Bugger all, Jim.
Billy Fuckin Rubin indeed.


Public health concerns are called public concerns for a reason.


Restaurants in hot countries are always going to be a bad idea. Is there honestly a restaurant in Taiwan that has never seen a rat, a cockroach a dirty sponge? Cook your own food. The thing that buggered me up in Taiwan was unknown additives, rather than cleanliness. I ended up in ER four times to get shots for ‘allergies’. Never had reactions like that outside Taiwan.

I used to hate that sort of check up culture in the UK, and it really annoyed me when I first got back to Britain. There are significant downsides to it, as many have pointed out, one of the main ones being that people grudgingly follow the letter of the law, rather than the spirit of it. And forget about all the street stands and hole in the wall restaurants that you take for granted in Taiwan: it is expensive to eat out, and the quality is generally fairly low.

But having been here a while, being in the UK, I’ve grown to appreciate these things more. Although I may be beaten to death by a policeman or murdered by a burglar, I prbably won’t die because of negligent stupidity. It doesn’t necessarily improve safety or my quality of life, but what it does do is make people accountable and make things traceable, both in terms of food safety and in a wider sense.

There was a case recently where a guy was imprisoned after a little boy died (as the chief said, it’s kids and the old that get the brunt of this), and the ripples have been fairly significant. It won’t prevent it from happening again: stupidity and laziness aren’t going anywhere, but maybe some people will stop and think when they see this guy’s trial on TV, and him going to prison?


There is no question the standards of cleanliness are different here than in the USA.

I have been to 2 Sushi expresses and witnessed one of the cooks taking a piss and then not washing their hands when they went back to make sushi.

How stupid is that? What kind of numnut does that in front of a customer? I mean perhaps he used the sink behind the counter before he started to make the food, but that is just looks bad to the customers… I was so pissed. I have witnessed this at 2 different Sushi expresses.

I won’t eat there again. Generally speaking I have noticed that in Night Market the people handle money at the same time as they make food. I usually just eat it cuz it is usually so hot it doesn’t matter. I often see rats running around, but well–thats why it is so cheap.


I love the food-prep folk who wear a face mask, but have it pulled down below their chin so they can shout and smoke better, and drop snot, spit and sweat into the food.

I love the food-prep people who wear sanitary gloves to keep their hand germs off the food, the same gloves that they keep wearing while they move the trashcans, rub their ears and nose, answer the telephone, move their scooter if it starts to rain, rearrange their pocket billiards equipment, etc.

I love the food-prep people who display their fresh produce on ice in a small glassed cabinet, but neglect to install the rear of the cabinet which thus faces into the prevailing breeze, in a crowded night market, collecting the dust and dirt of the passing cars, scooters, dogs and rats, the hawked phlegm balls of the passing tramps and hobos, and even the exhaust fan from the neighbouring ji pai stand.



love it, brilliant post, very observing! Now I go to my kitchen and see… ha ha, so funny!


Don’t you know that it is the “filth” that makes taiwanese food taste so good? :lick:


This is about wearing gloves and food preparation, which is sometimes nonsense.

Just watch the guy that makes the Crêpes: Starting from around 1:36 minutes.

Do you think Taiwan is any different?


The glove thing is dumb as fuck. I watch the dude next door cut raw chicken while wearing gloves then proceed to prepare lettuce and bread with the same gloves.

I’ve heard compliments from customers “wow, so clean this laoban wears gloves”



Although they are mom n pop restaurants, that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t cook in a cleanly manner. Locals can still get sick from nasty stuff too.