server speaking with caption 'The Ugly Truth' 'here's what you need to know about restaurants' (l) woman washing hands in sink (c) server speaking with caption 'your server has not washed her hands for the entire shift' (r)

hxdbzxy/Shutterstock @hazel_gm/TikTok (Licensed) Remix by Caterina Cox

‘Your server has not washed her hands for the entire shift’: Server shares the ‘ugly truth’ about restaurants

'What restaurant are you working in???'


Beau Paul


Posted on Jul 14, 2023

The pandemic made everyone reconsider their hand-washing habits, so one would think we live in a safer, cleaner space nowadays—especially when it comes to eating out. Not so, says one TikToker and former restaurant worker. In fact, she warns that some servers are regularly handling food with unwashed hands.

@hazel_gm #restaurant #server #serverlife #truths #theuglytruth #restaurantsecrets #cook #waitstaff #restaurantreview #heresmystory #shockingtruth #nightshift #dayshift #industrysecrets #waitressing ♬ original sound – Hazel

TikToker Hazel (@hazel_gm) is warning diners about “the ugly truth” when it comes to hygiene at restaurants. In a video posted on July 5, which has been viewed over 50,000 times as of the publication of this article, Hazel says, “Your server has not washed her hands for the entire shift.”

“I’m just saying it because it’s the truth,” the former server continues. “I’ve watched servers, like, clear a dirty table, turn right around, and make you your salad with their bare hands.”

But Hazel’s warnings about restaurant health standards don’t stop there. She describes various common practices that would be sure to earn any restaurant a “C” grade from the health department. For example, she claims that diners getting ice in their drinks should be concerned: “The ice is not as clean as you would like it to be,” she says.

“No one cleans the containers the ice is in,” she claims, noting that the buckets, coolers, and even the ice machine are rarely thoroughly cleaned. “We just keep dumping new ice in there. No one is draining the entire thing and then wiping it down.”

Hazel also brings up the buckets of sanitizing solution many restaurants use to clean the tables. She claims servers often use the same solution all day rather than emptying and replacing it throughout the day so it doesn’t get cold and dirty. “No one is changing out those buckets as often as they should be,” she says.

Many commenters seemed to share Hazel’s assessment.

“I totally believe this!” one said. “I doubt people wash hands after bussing tables and handling food with bare hands !!”

“That’s why I don’t want the server to touch my glass to pour tea,” another wrote.

Some restaurant workers said management had sometimes told them to refrain from hand-washing.

“Girl SAME! I use to get yelled at for ‘wasting my time’ every time I washed my hands during rush hour,” one viewer shared.

However, a few commenters protested that standards at their restaurants were much higher.

“I worked in fine dining for years and our kitchens were much cleaner than most home kitchens,” one commenter said.

Another commenter stated, “I’m a server, always changing out my bucket, washing my hands and never making salads without gloves.”

The Daily Dot reached out to Hazel via TikTok direct message. She responded, “I’m not referring to ALL restaurants. I know some places are great about cleanliness, but in my personal experience, they aren’t the majority.”

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*First Published: Jul 14, 2023, 9:55 pm CDT