Example 1. You are served a burger, take a bite and realize it is not cooked enough for your liking. Does it violate any food safety regulations for the server to take the plate back to the kitchen, disassemble the burger and put the patty back on the grill to cook it further, then reassemble the burger and bring the plate back to you?

Example 2. You are served a basket of fries, but they are cold. Does it violate any food safety regulations for the server to take the basket back to the kitchen and put the fries back in the frier, then put them back in the basket and bring them back to you?

I suspect these would be examples of poor customer service, but was wondering if they were even legal in the United States or specifically in Colorado.

  • 1
    Since it happens fairly frequently, I suspect that it is legal in at least some jurisdictions. Are you interested in any particular jurisdiction?
    – phoog
    Commented Nov 7, 2018 at 18:42
  • 1
    But definitely the US, then?
    – phoog
    Commented Nov 7, 2018 at 18:51
  • 2
    I don't believe it violates any laws, but a chain where they deal with lawsuits more regularly will more likely just throw it out and give you a new burger/fries than risk you later claiming they made you sick.
    – pboss3010
    Commented Nov 7, 2018 at 19:36
  • 1
    Don't forget the lawsuits from other customers who see the restaurant dumping stuff not continuously in their control into the communal frier...
    – DJohnM
    Commented Nov 8, 2018 at 5:49
  • @DJohnM - Yes, it was the cross-contamination issue that I think is most dubious.
    – Wyrmwood
    Commented Nov 8, 2018 at 17:35

1 Answer 1


It is not a violation IF it meets certain stipulations such as: has not been eaten off of by the patron/consumer/server, it is being cooked outside the presence of other foods (these present cross-contamination), and it cannot be served again to a different consumer once it has reached the table and been removed from the kitchen. Furthermore, if the patty or fries do not contain sauces. Typically, a convection or microwave oven could be used to reheat but when reaching a consumable temperature, a grill or fryer in this case would be ideal. THEY CANNOT BE COOKED WITH ANOTHER ORDER THOUGH. And, yes, it is poor customer service - by server and cook. Once food reaches the window it is the duty of the server to check temperatures before getting it to the table by 'feeling' without touching the food to the skin. Food Handler's Permit sites can provide more explanation as well as state health department sites.

  • 1
    Can you provide any references or authorities in support of your answer?
    – feetwet
    Commented Jan 27, 2022 at 13:56
  • I assumed taking a bite would be necessary, but I explicitly added it to the question.
    – Wyrmwood
    Commented Jan 27, 2022 at 21:03

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