Room service used dishes and glasses on cart in hallway
Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

Pilfering Food From a Used Room Service Tray In a Hotel Hallway?

W hen I saw this discussion on FlyerTalk pertaining to what is the grossest thing you ate off of a room service cart in the hall, my first thought was how disgusting that was…

…and my second thought was that I needed to ask you if you are guilty of pilfering food from a used room service tray in the hallway of a hotel property.

Pilfering Food From a Used Room Service Tray In a Hotel Hallway?

FlyerTalk members admitted to taking everything from a basket of bread rolls to a slice of pizza; French fries off of a plate to an unpeeled orange; a brownie still wrapped in plastic to sealed containers of assorted condiments…

…but a different controversy erupted when FlyerTalk member jahason admitted “many times I have helped myself to coffee outside hotel conf rooms.” Is that considered stealing?

“Not passing judgement, but as somebody who has conference and meeting planning as part of their responsibilities, and knows that coffee goes for $85 per gallon are you okay with ‘borrowing’ from others?” asked FlyerTalk member plenow in response.


I do not like eating off the plate or cutlery of most people I know — let alone from plates which were used by complete strangers and left unguarded for who knows how long in a hallway in a hotel or resort property. The chances of me dying are slim from doing that, I know; but I would think that there is a good chance of contracting an illness of some sort.

In fact, I am typically not a fan of room service in general — even when the food is untouched and delivered specifically for my consumption.

Perhaps a sealed container of a condiment might be a consideration; but then what would I do with it afterwards? Consume it by itself? Save it for later? Try to pass it through an airport security checkpoint if it is a liquid such as ketchup or mustard?

It just boggles my mind that someone would actually consider taking food off of a used room service tray. Is it really worth it to either save a couple of bucks or instantly satisfy a hunger?

Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

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