Okay, prepare to be disgusted.
Brandon Huber, a Golden Corral employee in Port Orange, Fla., posted two YouTube videos last week showing what appear to be incredibly unsanitary and disgusting working conditions.
The 22-year-old explains in the self-shot videos that pounds of meat were left stashed near the restaurant’s dumpsters in preparation for a health inspection.
“This is what my company likes to do with their food for inspection,” Huber says in the video, referring to the restaurant’s apparent attempt to hide the meat. “To me, this is disgusting.”
“This is what my company likes to do to get ready for inspection. They like to put their food by the dumpster,” he adds. “I’m an employee here, been working here for a long time, and I don’t feel that this right.”
“I cook this food every day and now I see what is involved,” he said in second YouTube video. “As an employee here, I would not eat this stuff.”
“I’m scared of my employment. I don’t know who to tell but I don’t want to cook this food,” he added.
“I don’t feel safe with it. My management is gonna’ wheel it back into the coolers after the inspection, like nothing happened… I will show this to whoever I can to prevent any food-borne illnesses from spreading.”
The original video went viral almost immediately, leaving Golden Corral with a major PR nightmare.
The company told the Consumerist in a statement that immediate steps were taken to correct the issue.
“A video was recently posted showing an incident of improper food handling at our Port Orange, Florida location. None of these items were served to a single customer,” the statement reads.
“All were destroyed within the hour at the direction of management… The manager involved in the improper storage was terminated for failing to follow approved food handling procedures,” it adds.
However, here’s a weird twist to the story: Golden Corral claims Huber’s father tried to sell them his son’s video for $5,000.
“[T]he father of the employee posted an offer to sell the video for $5,000, which was not accepted,” the company said in a statement, adding that Brandon Huber was actually involved in the disposal of the food.
William Huber, 46, told police that his son was only concerned about the restaurants “mishandling of food prior to serving its customers.”
“He said that he put a dollar value to the clip to get attention and has now since removed it from eBay,” the Daily Mail notes.
Also, as it turns out, the 22-year-old food service employee is no stranger to controversy.
“He was arrested three times in the space of six months in 2010, charged with burglary and possession of cannabis,” the Daily Mail reports.
An investigator who viewed the YouTube videos with the store’s owner said “that no crime had occurred because no one was trying to elicit anything from him or Golden Corral,” the report adds.
The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation announced it will be conducting an investigation of the video, CFNews13.com reports.
Golden Corral has confirmed that the 22-year-old is still an employee.
BONUS — Here’s a photo from a Golden Corral in Bakersfield, Calif., that was taken in March:
Although the above photo of a kitchen with a broken down dishwasher is pretty unpleasant, it’s a) not unheard of in major restaurants and b) not technically illegal.
“It’s not a requirement in state law to have a dishwasher as long as they’re properly sanitizing dishes,” said Kern County Health Department spokesperson Donna Fenton.
Yup, so long as the dishes are properly sanitized, messes like the one in the above photo are not necessarily in violation of health codes.
“A place like Golden Corral goes through a lot of dishes, and it’s difficult to keep up with demand when they’re trying to do it manually,” Fenton said. “Now, if we found they were taking dishes out and being used by the customers without proper sanitation, that’s a public health risk because you spread disease that way. Then we would have closed them down.”
Obviously, this isn’t exclusive to Golden Corral. Indeed, any major restaurant with an industrial dishwasher can experience the same kind of pileups.
Dine with caution.
Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter
Featured image screen grab. This post has been updated.