Summit Up 3-22-11: Where restaurants employ the 5-second rule |

Summit Up 3-22-11: Where restaurants employ the 5-second rule

Max Miller Eshleman, seen here as a little shaver of 2 on his birthday in 1996, turns 17 today. Have a great day, Max, and lotsa love from Dad, Jen, Britty, Austin, Kaylie and Andy.

Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column that’s wondering how common it is for local restaurateurs to pick stuff out of the trash and then serve it to their clients.

We’re guessing not very, but we did receive this rather disturbing e-mail from Melissa, who writes thusly:

“I just have a question. You see all the time people sending stuff in about town and the good/bad things happening. If you witness an owner of a business picking food off the ground and out of trash and using it, can you write about that?”

(Summit Up: Uh, yeah, sure – right here!)

“I personally watched her and her husband take the lettuce out of the trash and put it back into a pan to use. Then I dropped a bagel on the ground and threw it in the trash, she took it out of the trash and put it back on display like nothing happened. Or what should I do. It’s a business that KNOWS they do wrong and I’d like town to know. Or can I put in something like a complaint somewhere where someone can investigate.”

Scary stuff. We’ve heard of the five-second rule, but we really don’t think that applies to people in food service! That’s more of a private, personal decision, no? The simple answer to Melissa’s question, though, is to contact the Summit County Environmental Health Department, which is in charge of checking our local restaurants for sanitary conditions and which, we’re sure, would listen to your complaint, Melissa. They may even have some kind of nitro-burning funny car they use to rush to places engaged in this sort of practice. You can call them at (970) 668-4070.

Also, if you’re curious to know how your favorite local restaurants stacked up the last time the health inspectors popped in for a look-see, go to The listings are by date and restaurant (or other food-service places – you can even find out about your local gas station and supermarket), and the comments from the inspectors range from pretty minor-seeming to downright scary. We’re guessing, though, that the folks Melissa has in mind will refrain from picking crap up off the ground and serving it while the inspectors are there.

But ya never know.


Folks, it’s Tuesday, the sun may or may not be shining and the birds singing or not. It matters not, since Tuesday is here and we must deal with it as best we can. Enjoy the spring breakers and remember: Patience!

We out.

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