Are Restaurant Kitchens Clean?

People ask me all the time how clean restaurant kitchens are. The truth is that even though there are universal cleanliness and food safety laws the kitchens I have worked in have vastly differed in standards of cleanliness. Every chef should have enough respect for food and the culinary industry to at minimum maintain a CLEAN kitchen. If you are eating at a restaurant you can assume that the kitchens are somewhat clean. Cleanliness is not everything, For example: my room is clean in the sense that there are no foul smelling articles of clothing or opened food containers but I know that if my room looked like it does right now while I was growing up, you could be damn sure I would not be going out with my friend on Sunday. The kitchens will always reflect the personality of the chef. If the chef is very organized than the kitchen will be organized. If the chef himself is disorganized the kitchen will look unkempt and “dirty”.  A good way to gauge how clean a restaurant kitchen is, is to check the cleanliness of the dining area and especially the bathroom. If the corporate personality of the restaurant is to keep things neat and tidy you can rest assured that they keep the kitchen clean as well. If you still are not convinced you can ask the to see the kitchen. If they do not allow it you can at least be reasonably suspicious. Generally speaking a chef who maintains a neat and tidy kitchen will take no issue with allowing you to see the kitchen.

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