The Dark Side of Food Blogging

I had an experience last week that left me a little rattled. Working late at work, I ordered take-out from a restaurant I know and respect. The food was delicious, but, to my shock and dismay I fished an open staple out of my mouth. Naturally, this could have cut my mouth, I could have swallowed it - a lot of terrible things could have happened. As it turned out, I caught it and it was fine, but my trust and confidence in that restaurant was compromised. It's too bad because their food is delicious.

As a food blogger, I don't think it's fair to use this platform to tear apart restaurants. I know that one bad review can make or break a business so I try to write about things I love and things of value, keeping pollution to a minimum.

Last year I had a violent and gut-wrenching food poisoning episode from eating Pad Thai at a popular downtown restaurant with a strong reputation. I was out of commission for days and my inclination was to tell the world what had happened, making the restaurant pay for their irresponsible practices.

However, I held back. I won't go back there again and I might mention the incident to my inner sanctum, but people have rightly pointed out to me that food poisoning is difficult to attribute with 100% certainty so it's reckless to take a stand and write a scathing review.

As for the staple incident, I think I'm going to tell the restaurant what happened so they are aware. I'm interested in your thoughts. What would you have done about this staple incident? Would you write about it and name the restaurant? Do you think it's the responsibility of food bloggers to tell honest stories about their negative experiences? Or do you think this is unfair to restaurants?


  1. It's not that there is a clear leader, between honesty and discretion. It's that we pause to consider how our words will affect other people.

    Food poisoning is a great example. I've experienced it plenty. But unless I've taken samples to the lab, I should keep my mouth shut.

  2. Corey, thanks for your response. Much appreciated. I'm glad to see that you reflect on the impact your comments could have on others.

  3. Hey Jess. First, I am enjoying your blog - it may be the tool that I need to inspire the great white beast that is my own, lonely, and mute(d) blog.

    About the staple. That sucks. It sucks more and still that you are now wary of what you had construed to be an acceptable, if not good "institution" - and I imagine, one that you had been generous too insofar as recco'ing to others, etc.

    This generosity is present here too...even in this uneven, unsettling experience. While the staple event is not cool, your decision to ask about potential "negative" impact (and this is what is the "jewel") onto others, in this case the restaurant and those whose livelihood is extracted from a result of a few or many misdirected words, is beyond admirable.

    Imagine a world where staples pierced latent compassion. Wonderful, really.

  4. Hi Johnnie, thanks for your kind words. I'm glad you're on my page regarding the staple. I think humans sometimes show the most when they exhibit restraint instead of action.