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Bon Appétit! Watch What You Eat: Hamburgers and Chicken Sandwich Rolls with Rodent Droppings
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Photo: photo: Facebook/Shantel Johnson

Bon Appétit! Watch What You Eat: Hamburgers and Chicken Sandwich Rolls with Rodent Droppings

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WILMINGTON, DELAWARE – June 15, 2018

A viral video of rodents scurrying among hamburger buns was posted Thursday, May 31, by Wilmington resident Shantel Johnson on her Facebook page. It's unclear how she obtained the video at the store at 2802 Concord Pike. The video had more than 980,000 views and 24,000 shares by today.

The state Division of Public Health Office of Food Protection received a complaint on Friday, June 1st, and video footage appeared to show rodents in bags of rolls at the Concord Pike Burger King, according to Andrea Wojcik, spokeswoman for the Division of Public Health.

In a June 1st letter to the restaurant owner, Rackson Restaurants LLC, the Division of Public Health's Dr. Karyl Rattay ordered the restaurant closed due to an "imminent health hazard" because of "gross unsanitary conditions" and "rodent infestation."

Wojcik said the health department allowed the restaurant to reopen Monday afternoon following a re-inspection that found the issues had been addressed.

According to the inspection report from June 1st obtained by the News Journal, rodent droppings were found on and inside of the hamburger and chicken sandwich rolls. The plastic covering and the rolls themselves were chewed by the rodents. Wooden pallets that the rolls were stored on had droppings on them, the report said.

Droppings also were found in the floor near the ice machine, the water heater, under dry storage, near syrup storage boxes and behind fryers, the report said.

Seven pallets of buns and rolls were discarded due to the contamination, the report said. The inspector noted that during her visit, chicken sandwich rolls were being used. They were then discarded. In addition to the rodent droppings, the restaurant's ceiling was leaking in the kitchen near the storage and food line, the report said. Flies were coming from a drain close to where the rolls and buns are stored.

The inspector said in her report that the restaurant would be re-inspected on Monday and at that time a risk control plan will be discussed. She said she would require management to show her a current pest service report, which must state that "service has increased and identified possible entrance points."

The employees also must be trained on "food security issues" and documentation of that training will be needed for re-inspection, the report said. A new policy must be created for the delivery of bread.

During the re-inspection held on June 4, two mice were removed from a trap, the report said. Repairs were made to the broken drain, and holes in the walls were fixed to prevent rodents. The restaurant will have weekly pest service until the "issue is eliminated." The inspector saw no mouse droppings in the facility and all rolls and buns had been discarded. The pallets, which held the bread, were cleaned and sanitized. The ceiling was no longer leaking, and no flies were found, the report said.

Wojcik said Public Health rules barred her from identifying who contacted the health department. She said it is not "out of the ordinary" for the state Division of Public Health Office of Food Protection (OFP) to receive complaints about restaurants.

“While we know that rodents are attracted to easily available food sources, the DPH Office of Food Protection (OFP) conducts routine inspections with food establishments to ensure the safety of the public’s food supply and ensure establishments are complying with standards of food safety, quality, and the food code," she said.

Wojcik could not provide a list of other establishments that had been disciplined recently because of rodent problems. The state's public database has not been updated in 2018 because the state is getting a new database system, Wojcik said. Workers would have to spend hours to manually sift through paper reports to find details such as rodent problems, she said.

Shantel Johnson’s Facebook post received thousands of comments. FB user Lisa Ponsell said, “I’m glad you shared this video I did eat here all the time.”

“Crazy I used to work at this spot, and when I first saw that I told all my family and friends not to eat there and when I told the GM Bill about it he didn't even care crazy how this place is still open but oh well its only 2 managers I like there anyway,” added Tyshawn Franklin in her comment.

Today the Concord Pike Burger King has reopened and welcomes new visitors.

Author: USA Really