Tuscan Table, Philbrook Avenue, South Portland, ME, USA
Food Poisoning 1 year ago
Philbrook Avenue, South Portland, 04106 Maine, United States
“I was a server at Tuscan Table for roughly 3 months before finally quitting abruptly (yesterday) due to getting severely sick for the 4th time in just that period alone. My wife who has a heart condition also got very sick each of the 4 times.
The following is my account as I observed it, having worked there 30-40 hours per week, again for a little under 3 months...
Before going into the illnesses I, as well as many other co-workers had there; here is an incomplete list of the some of the very serious health concerns I saw:
- Little to no hand washing - the entire time I was there, I only observed maybe a quarter of the staff washing their hands right after food was returned with soiled plates to the kitchen - meaning the vast majority of the staff isn’t washing their hands at all at any given time, then serving food to customers as a matter of course
- In place of hand washing, most of the staff including managers who would routinely bus tables, made a practice of wiping the soiled remains of customer's food on their aprons or in the case of managers--their pants.
- Just before every shift there was a good buffet of food for the entire serving staff to eat. That food was left out typically, entire shifts (3-6 hours) while people eat from it. This included dairy products and meat like eggs, bacon, steak, chicken, fish and even at times, octopus.
- Food for staff often times very old
- Cutting of - raw- fish and poultry in same place as staff food recently eaten and not fully cleaned. Raw fish would rub right up against remnants of mostly eaten egg and meat, on a not fully cleaned table
- I did not observe many chefs or cooks washing their hands very much while there
- Cooks don’t wear gloves vast majority of the time while handling just cooked food
- Salad cooks only wore gloves half the time and would have to exit the kitchen to wash their hands
- Cappuccino machine spout was routinely wiped with a dirty rag also used on the service station counters, to then serve guest's cappuccinos. I never saw the machine itself cleaned, ever.
- NOT ONCE did I ever hear one of the 4 managers say "Be sure to wash your hands." Not once, in regard to any activity
- even servers were expected to take out the trash and never told to wash their hands
- Milk from cappuccinos left out at random for long periods
- The walk in food closet was pretty much in order as I saw it, but I didn't ever really inspect it either...
- A customer coming to Tuscan Table can be sure that at least one server if not a group are sick at any given time.
- Horrible waste: Most of the uneaten food for the staff and the vast amount of the bread for customers wound up in the trash rather than given to the homeless or to a charity
- recycling of any kind is non-existent at Tuscan Table, everything goes into landfills
Half the serving staff had been sick most of the time I was there, with multiple recurrences of symptoms in conjunction with each other: sore throat, fever, flu like symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea were a matter of course. Did they wash their hands after using the restroom to vomit? I never saw it. Not once.
Food poisoning happened to me at least twice and other servers including managers got food poisoning too. The head manager was out sick for an entire week the last month I was there.
Management not only would routinely ignore vile symptoms like chronic cough, or vomiting, but would be in blatant denial of the them. They would also hold the expectation that you to come in even within the period of contagion from an illness and most of the servers just worked while sick, throughout the entirety of their illness from vague symptoms until very sick.
Managers would routinely threaten to fire employees unless a doctors note was provided which most of the staff couldn't even afford to provide, thus reinforcing the loop of working while sick.
One girl recently worked with strep throat and the entire staff, especially management knew about it in full flagrant open regard. It was even joked about it. Meanwhile, at least 3 servers got it, that I know of.
When I made my case to the head manager there, (as I had multiple times before) she flatly denied all of the above claims.
I quit. Never to go back.
It's too bad because food can taste great here actually, but go at your own risk.”
2 people had — diarrhea, fever, nausea and vomiting