The cook’s dirty hands: A wasted meal at La Belle Province

I recently went to eat at La Belle Province restaurant in Anjou (Montreal), located on Beaubien Street. I ordered a hot dog and a small poutine. The woman at the cash register yelled out for the cook to come and prepare my order. I imagine that since she is the one to take money from the customers that she is not the one to prepare the food, since as we all know, money is very dirty and full of germs. This is a good thing and I salute La Belle Province restaurant for managing their business in this manner.

La Belle Province restaurant logo

However, what followed was a total disappointment. The cook came out of the public washrooms holding a dirty mop and pushing a dirty mop bucket. He rested the mop handle against the wall and walked into the kitchen to prepare my food without first washing his hands. Now I know that all sorts of things happen in restaurant kitchens that we do not see. As the saying goes, ignorance is bliss. But, to do like this cook did while in the public-view conveys an indifference and a total lack of regard towards minimum hygienic standards. Anybody that is employed in the food and beverage industry should know, or at least have received proper training on how and when to wash your hands.

Photo of hand washing

Unfortunately my stomach was turned upside down by what I had witnessed and I was unable to eat my meal. Clearly I will not be returning to La Belle Province. This is unfortunate for their brand as restaurants compete for customers in an overly saturated market. And to think that all it would have taken to keep me as a long term customer was to see the cook wash his hands after coming out of a public washroom with a filthy mop and bucket. Again, they got it right by separating the food preparation from the person handling the money. However, they got it wrong by not separating the food preparation from the person handling the dirty mop in a public washroom.

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