It’s not a good sign when the health inspector shows up to a fast food joint and is waylaid by employees who refuse to let him into the kitchen. It’s an even worse sign when the inspector still finds more than 20 violations after waiting 20 minutes for the staffers to presumably clean up the most egregious offenses.
It all began, reports Tampa’s WTSP-TV, in May when a McDonald’s customer complained to the state that a live roach had fallen from the ceiling into his food.
When the health inspector showed up, he was told he couldn’t get into the kitchen and to “take a seat.”
After waiting around and recommending that an administrative complaint be filed against the eatery, he was finally allowed to take a look around.
And he found what we’d label a bonanza of violations, including 25-30 dead roaches under the front counter and five live roaches near the kitchen sink. There is also the mysterious “toxic item” found near kitchen utensils.
In all, the inspector found 21 violations, seven which are categorized as “critical,” which is not usually a word one wants to associate with food service.
McDonald’s HQ is of course, taking this seriously:
The safety and cleanliness of our McDonald’s restaurants are of the utmost importance to us. We always comply and regularly exceed standards for health inspections. A recent health inspector’s report referenced a situation that was the result of confusion between the inspector and McDonald’s protocol. The restaurant staff followed procedure and received supervisor approval and the inspector was admitted to conduct his inspection. The findings were acted upon and the restaurant is in complete compliance with health regulations.
We take slight issue with the phrasing of “We always comply…” because this particular McDonald’s most certainly was not complying. These sorts of violations are not the result of an inspector just happening to pop by at the end of a particularly busy shift. Restaurants should not have to be told by a health inspector that having dozens of roaches under the front counter is a code violation.