By Mike Timmermann, clarkhoward.com
Gas station convenience stores offer a quick and easy way to pick up food on the go, but is the food you’re getting there really safe to eat?
A recent undercover investigation found serious problems at every gas station they visited.
Investigation reveals problems with gas station food
As Elisabeth Leamy reported for “The Dr. Oz Show,” gas stations have a higher profit margin for food than gas. And many of these stores sell a variety of items, such as subs and pizza.
From raw sewage to cockroaches, food inspector Francine Shaw told Leamy she has seen it all, including things that could make you very sick.
1. Dirty facilities
If the floors of the convenience store are filthy, it’s a sign that cleanliness isn’t a priority and management could be cutting other corners.
Check the bathrooms. If they’re a mess, the kitchen probably is as well.
2. Poor employee hygiene
In the undercover report, a gas station attendant only put on one glove before touching hot food – and he didn’t wash his hands first.
3. Food held at the wrong temperature
To prevent food poisoning, hot food must be kept at 140 degrees or higher and cold food must be 41 degrees or lower. This was a recurring problem at the gas stations visited.
4. Expired foods
It’s not common, but Leamy reports that a few stores were caught changing “3s” to “8s” on the expiration dates of some prepackaged items, so check for any unusual markings.
Otherwise, packaged foods may be your best option at these stores.
5. Multi-tasking employees
How well is your gas station staffed? If you notice employees handling cash one minute and food the next, that’s not a good sign at all.
If you have a feeling they’re handling too many tasks, don’t eat there.