Some customers of a Tennessee fast food chain said they are no longer going to eat at the restaurant after photos and videos emerged of hamburger buns being stored next to a public toilet.
Checkers, a fast food restaurant, in Cleveland, Tenn. has come under fire after hundreds of buns were discovered in the men’s restroom on April 23.
Stephen Staley, a manager of a nearby McDonalds, said he took the video of the disturbing scene.
“My first thought was ‘are they going to serve them?’ and speechless other than that,” said Staley to WRCB News. “Food safety is definitely a big priority in a restaurant.”
Staley said he approached the Checkers manager to ask about the buns and then called the health department’s emergency tip line.
He also said the employees didn’t move the hamburger buns back into the store until an hour after his complaint.
Meanwhile, inspectors didn’t conduct an investigation until the following day.
“We had an environmentalist go out to the restaurant Sunday morning to speak with the manager and find out what the situation was,” said Eric Coffee, the field office manager, to WRCB. “With all of the bacteria and things that are present in the restroom, it’s possible to contaminate the food so that’s never acceptable.”
Inspectors said upon examination they found the buns in the garbage.
“There were no imminent health hazards present while we were there in order to require them to be closed,” said Coffee to WRCB.
A statement from Checkers read in part:
“A bread delivery mistakenly left in the bathroom is completely unacceptable. The buns were misplaced during a delivery… then discovered, they were immediately disposed of by the restaurant team. The buns were never served, and the employees involved in the delivery have been disciplined…”
Even so, customers said the health risk they put their clients in is unacceptable.
“It’s nasty, you know, the management had to know about this,” one customer said to WRCB. “I’m never going to eat there again… It’s just bad business, poor management and it’s disgusting.”