Street hawkers are not only cooks but they are also cashiers. They touch money and often flip over the bills with their fingers moistened with their saliva (added flavor to food). If a bun (baguette) is dropped in the pavement, it is still picked up to be mixed with the rest of the bunch. A hawker may cough or sneeze and while preparing food, cover her mouth with her bare hands then resume what she was just doing. Food may have unwanted items like hair particles or even pubic or armpit hair-like strands. Utensils may be washed from the same portable small 1-liter size ice-cream container washing basin, without detergent. Debris on spoons are just wiped off from the water on that small dish. Drinking glasses may just be dunked two or three times and ready for the next user.
On holes-in-the-wall, if there is shortage of counter space, contained food is placed on the floor. Floors are mostly wet and muddy. Utensils are washed on the floor itself. Waiters tossed used chopsticks and other dishes like bowls and if they don’t get in the tub, they go right in the floor to be picked up later. Vegetables and meat parts are also cut in the floor and if they fell off, they are picked up again. Big quantities of vegetables are placed in plastic buckets and cleaned in the toilet faucet. The plastic buckets may have been used as bathing or toilet flushing pail. And when they are not used, they may be stacked together and stored in the toilet.
…whatever, bring it on Saigon! (but no really don’t)