We get it. Nobody likes dealing with health inspections, least of all restaurant owners. They can be tedious; they arrive out of nowhere for the explicit purpose of catching establishments with their guard down; and whiffing on them can lead to massive fines and even closures.
That said, they are and will always be imperative for the sake of keeping customers safe from tainted food. Sometimes, it’s easy to take that for granted. In that spirit, The Takeout would like to introduce you to a Checkers location in Palm Bay, Florida, which exists as brick-and-mortar proof of the practice’s importance.
(Note: if you’re easily grossed out by verminous animals and bugs, or are planning to eat your lunch soon, you might not want to read or see what’s about to follow.)
Orlando station WESH 2 first reported on a battery of health code violations outlined in a Florida Department Of Health inspection, which led to the Checkers location’s immediate closure. Here are some of the greatest hits:
Accumulation of dead or trapped birds, insects, rodents, or other pests, in control devices. Large amount dead flying insects in light trap over bag in box soda
Floor area(s) covered with standing water. Throughout kitchen under drink machines, sinks, by ice machine
Presence of insects, rodents, or other pests. Multiple dead love bugs in tray where wrapped straws and sauces are stored at drive-thru and front service windows
Rodent activity present as evidenced by rodent droppings found. 1 dropping observed in base of soda machine where tubing attaches, drive-thru 2 droppings behind shake machine by drive-thru, 2 droppings on shelf under cash register by drive-thru window
Stop Sale issued due to food not being in a wholesome, sound condition. Hamburger bun touched after touching raw burger. Toasting only brought temperature to 125°
The issues were brought to state attention by a Facebook post from a former manager, who released a full spread of horrifying images to support her stories of the restaurant’s mismanagement. As expected, they’re all bad:
Restaurants, and fast food establishments in particular, are trusted with the safety of customers. Without strict standards in place to ensure that safety, let this be a lesson that there is no bottom to how far conditions can sink if left unchecked.
A Checkers representative gave the following statement to WESH 2: “The health and safety of our restaurants is our top priority, and the conditions shown at this franchised location at 4840 Babcock Road N.E., Palm Bay, Fla., in no way meet our high standards. The restaurant is now closed, and the franchisee is cleaning and sanitizing the entire restaurant. The location will reopen when it receives a clean bill of health from the Health Department.” Bon appetit.