my tummy feels funny

This video is of a roof collapse in Portsmouth NH. A simple place that had closed some time ago, next to Garys Beverages. Gary’s, when you require a keg of beer .

I was in that closed eatery last year to pick up 2 large refrigerators and a walk- in that a pal had purchased  at auction. He had  asked me and another fellow to assist him in removing the equipment and loading it on a trailer.

So I was in the kitchen.

I made a comment to the auctioneer about the condition( filthy) of the kitchen and got a a bit of a snort. It went by fast and while I filed the snort I let it go.  I then launched into a sad story of another place that had recently closed in Portsmouth. It was a favorite of ours. “Oh , really”  was the reply from the auction gal.” My son rented a home to the owner of that place, you would not believe how he lived!”

I keep this place tidy and clean. I have also worked in restaurants so at the least I can speak to proper sanitation and regular cleaning schedules for critical areas.  No one it seems really likes to clean, there are millions of funny quotes on the drudgery of it all. I don’t mind it at all.


“Ok gang, it’s slowing down, let’s get the racks out of the walk in and give it a good scrubbing” “Take the racks out to the parking lot”

The next week I spoke with the woman that is in charge of the City Health Department of Portsmouth. I called to inquire about how many boots she has on the ground and if the City might consider a rating system. Sometimes when I make a call l like this in NH it gets a really good laugh.

Not so many boots.

Newton MA has a rating system and owners can  I imagine benefit from a high rating, If you consistently perform then the City will waive some of the inspections. Preparing  for a scheduled inspection could take a significant amount of time, especially if you do not clean regularly.

I would have a big A in my window if I owned a restaurant. I would want that for my business and my customers.

It is next to impossible to gain any satisfaction from determining that a particular  eatery is responsible for your queasy stomach. A real case of violent food poisoning with multiple complainants is another matter. Well not really , your sick, and it’s awful. You just want it to end. It has only happened to me once, and it was a piece of sausage pizza from the Maine Turnpike. I still will not eat sausage pizza or Veal Oscar. I am not a buffet guy either.

People also overeat and drink  too much at restaurants, have that extra drink. I know the difference between full and something else.


I called a reporter at the Portsmouth Herald and told my story but was really looking for information on our old favorite spot that closed.

The reporter shared that all restaurant people have messy lives, and how someone lives is no reflection on how sanitary they maintain the workplace.


Portsmouth boasts all the time about the high number of restaurants it has and a new one is opening all the time. Most are in very old buildings that were not purpose built for food service.   The breakfast place downtown was cited many times and just completed a major renovation. I think at  a minimum the newspaper could regularly  post the activities of the  Health Department in regard to inspections. Rachel Forrest  the food writer could perhaps take us back into the prep area from time to time too, for a close look at how the new joint is insuring the public’s health. Rachel splits her time  between the Seacoast and Austin TX. Austin always makes the list of a city with lots of restaurants and bars.

I hope we are doing a good job here in Exeter on food service inspections.


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