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Micky Gramlin
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Micky Gramlin   My Press Releases

RECOVERY Part 2: Danger Ahead

Published on 2/20/2019
For additional information  Click Here


Image result for poison symbol


RECOVERY Part 2: Danger Ahead

(Please keep in mind this was 20 years ago, now camera's are used and monitored) 


My last full time job was in Recovery, where a business, usually a restaurant was losing money. My responsibility was to fix it and make it profitable again. Usually bad management was the most common reason.

As I stated in part one, terminating a manager is not easy. If you put them in charge of your operations, to protect yourself legally, you best have a good reason to let them go and well documented. We didn't have video or security cameras until the mid 90’s, at least at store level.

We investigated and did the necessary documentation, then reported our findings usually to the owner of the establishment. More on that in another post.

Image result for termination

As we moved in to replace management, the first thing we did was look at operating procedures that may endanger the public and employees. We sometimes found  dangerous practices going on that could not be changed until we took possession of the business.

I have listed three of the most memorable.


Day One 5am - Taking Over

When the Manager showed up for work, they were immediately terminated. The owner of the company would come in and make a quick announcement to the crew that we were in charge.  We then met with the Assistant Managers. Some quit on the spot, some we terminated and some were immediately transferred. Remaining at the store was not an option for them.

Employees were handled differently. Most were given a clean plate and then it was up to them, but we met with each employee and,

  • Introduced ourselves
  • Went over our expectations of them
  • Encouraged them to ask questions or discuss concerns
  • Their schedule. Were they happy with it?
  • If there was a problem, what could we do to fix it?

But there were times when the customer’s health was in danger and even for employees from what some employees were doing. Again, these are three of the most memorable:

> One biscuit maker kept using a  spray on the pans for biscuits that we used to kill flies, but the employee strongly denied doing such a thing. Even when we put the can in front of her. She was at that point crying and was saying over and over that there was no way she could do that.

So, I told her to read the name on it to me, it was then she said she could not read and she went by color. Both cans were white with blue print and were the same size. There was a small poison decal on the fly spray but it was very small on the side. Problem solved with some changes on our part.

Her only training was on how to make biscuits. She was not shown where supplies were kept or on sanitation procedures. She went through new training and became one of our best


Image result for commercial fly spray in a can

>Roach Prufe, a powder used to kill roaches, was being being put on the floor in the cooking area, once a pan of tomatoes were dropped onto the floor. Instead of being thrown away, the tomatoes were gathered up and used on sandwiches by management orders.

> Fresh fried chicken. Being a bestseller with a high food cost, there are procedures that have to be followed to keep customers safe. Cross contamination is at the highest risk in storage and in the prep before cooking. An issue you had to be alert for.

To avoid cross contamination problems, the State Board of Health had established guidelines for the handling of chicken. Since we sold other foods, we were required to have a designated area for chicken only.

Their own fryers, prep area and a handwashing sink used only by the employee performing the task. The area also had to have a bucket of sanitized water at the station with clean towels in the water when not using. Plastic gloves were not the norm yet, like they are now.

There were a number of issues here with this employee in regards to cross contamination


Shift started 10am daily.

She would immediately fry up two tray with 32 pieces of chicken each and that itself was no danger, but with the next step that was where the danger began with cross contamination and her journey never stopped.

  • On the same table she put raw chicken on, she would take a dry towel and wipe down the table, then do prep cut for salads. At other times, did not remove the raw chicken from the table and just wiped a small section off to do the salads
  • Never used sanitized water for towels
  • Used the same knife to cut up the fixings for salad that she used to cut chicken without proper washing and sanitation
  • Did not use the right sink to wash hands. Instead she used the sink where the other cooks washed their hands which meant that the handles on the sink were now contaminated.

Without the handles being cleaned and sanitized, all cooks after washing their hands would then shut the water off … therefore, every cook possibly had on their fingertips the sometimes deadly salmonella bacteria or others. At minimum, a bad case food poisoning at its worst.

Where she had turned on the water with her contaminated hands … also meant she was cross contaminating everything she touched even after her own hand washing. She was suppose to use a paper towel to shut the water off.

Image result for handling raw chicken

The Walkin Cooler

The raw chicken came in 50 pound heavy cardboard boxes, but after a day or two, blood from the chicken would leak. Because of the leakage, the boxes were always placed on the bottom shelf.

But this employee had her own way of doing things. She placed the boxes of raw chicken above the cases of the heads of lettuce used on sandwiches and salads. Blood was dripping onto the lettuce.

And no one in management cared to correct this employee on any of the dangerous activities for the sake of their customers, themselves and employees.

The employee was not trained properly. We could not keep her in that position because to many bad habits to slip back into. She was trained for another job and was never allowed to do chicken again.

In closing, chicken is one of the most popular choices for lunch and dinner. It is also the most dangerous foods that we eat.


PLEASE NOTE: This would not likely happen now in today's world. Companies now use camera's with video, even small companies use them. Usually a manager is assigned to watch all video and some even have someone monitor live



Image result for home cooked fried chicken


Chicken has a reputation as a food safety nightmare. Raw chicken carries the salmonella bacteria, which is responsible for more cases of food poisoning than any other pathogen.” TheSpruceEats

“Here is a list of 8 things you may be doing wrong with raw chicken TasteOfTheHome

1 Leaving chicken out too long

2 Storing it improperly

3 Rinsing chicken before you cook

4 Marinating it improperly

5 Reusing tools that have touched raw chicken

6 Letting raw chicken touch other foods

7 Forgetting to wash your hands

8 Using a sponge”

Image result for sponge


I encourage all to read the full short article on these 8 mistakes in full. TasteOfTheHome recommends “Wash hands with warm soapy water for 20 seconds before and after handling chicken. Do not wash raw chicken. During washing, chicken juices can spread in the kitchen and contaminate other foods, utensils, and countertops. Use a separate cutting board for raw chicken.”

Thank you for stopping by!

Micky Gramlin



Termination and Recovery With Management




CodeBlue For Business



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