A McDonald's restaurant in Tampa, Fla. has drawn attention this week after a customer recently filed a state complaint which alleges a live roach fell out of the ceiling and into his food.
After the complaint was filed, a state health inspector showed up to take a look at the restaurant, located on Martin Luther King Blvd right off I-275 in Tampa. According to WTSP News, the inspector was told to "take a seat" upon his arrival. He sat for 20 minutes until an administrative complaint by supervisors was recommended, since he was still denied access even after showing his ID badge. He was eventually allowed entry.
Once the inspector was permitted to enter the kitchen, he found and documented disgusting conditions. In total, the health inspector noted 21 violations, seven of which were deemed to be "critical."
Some of the grossest violations noted were accumulated grease under the cooking equipment, an unidentified, but designated "toxic item" located near the utensils, 25-30 dead cockroaches under the service counter, 5 live roaches near the kitchen sink and a "ceiling soiled with accumulated food debris," in the drink area.
The Consumerist points out even the 20 minute delay wasn’t enough for workers to rapidly clean up and avoid over 20 health violations.
The customer's complaint was validated.
WTSP had visited this specific McDonald's after learning about the free-falling cockroach. Upon the station's arrival, they too were denied access to see the conditions in the kitchen, even off-camera. The station noted there were flying insects around the service counter and food on the floor, stating their visit was right after the lunch rush.
WTSP received the following statement from McDonald's:
"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."
Despite these health violations in the food areas in this particular Tampa establishment, WTSP did also report that "McDonald's restaurants typically do well on their state inspections," and cited two other McDonald's in the area, both showing excellent records for the last two health inspections conducted.
Last month a deep-fried cockroach was reportedly found in a hashbrown at a McDonald's.