Breaking: Rats Videoed Running Inside Buns Bags at Burger King
A Facebook user named Shantel Johnson, took to her page to share a video of rats running through a bag of hamburger buns. The caption of the video was a note of a warning to people not to visit “Burger King on 202” located in Wilmington, Delaware as rats were running all over their food. As of Monday 11th of June, the post already had over 23,000 shares and about 951,000 views.
Health Officials Intervene
The Delaware Health and Social Services officials claim that an investigation was launched by the department as soon as the video surfaced online. Getting into action the next day, the officials said that they went to the location to conduct investigations and subsequently issued a “Cease and Desist” letter due to the conditions they considered grossly unsanitary.
There was a temporary shutdown of the restaurant as a result of the seeming rodent infestation, and investigations into the health standards of the restaurant commenced. In the department’s inspection report, it was noted that the inspectors saw mouse droppings on and inside chicken sandwiches rolls and hamburger rolls.
According to the report, pallets on which rolls were kept had mouse droppings, and there were also mouse droppings on the floor near the water heater and ice machine, under the storage, behind the fryers and near syrup soda boxes. It was stated in the report that the health officials found that the rodents chewed through the plastic coverings as well as the rolls, and two mice were removed from a trap.
The report added that the restaurant had a leak in the ceiling and flies were also proceeding from a drain close to the storage where the rolls and buns were kept. The Spokeswoman for the division of Public health, Andrea Wojcik, subsequently sent a letter to the restaurant and ordered its temporary close down due to the “imminent health hazard” which could be caused by the rodent infestation and gross unsanitary conditions. Andrea Wojcik further stated that the restaurant had to complete a food establishment risk control plan which had the effect of addressing key violations that caused the closure before it can be reopened.
WOjcik added that the Public health rules made it unethical for her to identify those who contacted the department and mentioned that receiving a complaint regarding the safety of a restaurant wasn’t a new occurrence. In her statement, she said that while it is common knowledge that rodents have an attraction to readily available food sources, the DHP Office of Food Protection (OFP) however conducts regular routine inspections with food establishments to ensure that public food supply is safe and also make sure that establishments are in full compliance with standards of food safety and quality.
She reiterated that before the restaurant could be reopened, the management had to present an updated pest service report stating that the possible entrance points of the pests have been sufficiently identified. An additional requirement mentioned that all employees must be given adequate training on food security issues and the documentation for this must be made available upon re-inspection.
Restaurant reopened after satisfactory changes
The restaurant was subsequently re-inspected last week Monday, and it was recorded that the issues had been addressed. The restaurant has since been reopened. Wojcik noted that the health department allowed the reopening of the restaurant following a re-inspection that certified that all the issues had been dealt with. Upon subsequent re-inspection, Wojcik had a meeting with the owner as well as the management team who handed her the documents containing an updated delivery process, pest service, and employee training.
In the subsequent re-inspection, it was reported that there were no traces of mouse droppings in the restaurant and all the former rolls and buns had been trashed. It was also reported that the pallets which contained the bread had already been sanitized and the report further stated that the ceiling had stopped leaking and flies were no longer in sight.
Burger King in a statement released after the incident noted that the restaurant is an independent entity under its franchise, but they contacted the franchisee to investigate the matter and ensure that appropriate measures are put in place. They added that food safety and hygiene remains a top priority for them. The manager of the franchise has however declined to comment on the temporary shutdown of the restaurant or the video posted by the Facebook user.
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