Health Inspectors Reveal the Worst Violation They’ve Seen on the Job

By Molly Seif
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Eater

It takes an extremely dedicated human being with a strong stomach to be a health inspector. We should be thanking all health inspectors for making sure that the food we eat is safe, especially since some pretty grotesque things go on behind kitchen doors. Health inspectors took to the internet to share the absolute worst violations they have ever encountered on the job. One inspector found a worker shelling beans on the toilet, while another inspector found something disturbing in her take-out container. Read on for some very unusual horror stories that will make you never want to eat out again.

Cheesecake with a Side of Bleach, Please

I used to have a job working as an inspector for storage tanks at places like dairies and factories. I went to a chain restaurant once to test a milk storage tank. It had just been cleaned and was being prepped to be filled with a tanker full of milk. I noticed the floor of the tank was covered in bleach. It turned out the floor manager couldn’t be bothered to spend the time sucking out the rest of the fluid used in the cleaning process and, as standard, just filled the tank with milk on top of a dozen gallons of bleach. His theory was that there was enough milk to dilute the bleach to acceptable consumption levels. I wrote a report, and he was promptly fired.

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YouTube

Watch Out for the Cannabalistic Mice!

I worked in a restaurant. Sitting in the office one day, I heard an awful squeaking noise. It took me a while to find the source. It turned out to be a mouse who was stuck in some old spilled pancake syrup under a storage shelf. It was being eaten alive by the mouse stuck next to it.

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Movie TV Tech Geeks

The Right and Wrong Way to Carry a Ham

I did food safety inspection at a large slaughterhouse for a while. We did our own inspections each shift, and the government inspector stopped by once a day as well. One day, I came around a corner, and one of the workers who was running a service for the butchers had dropped a ham on the floor. The proper way to handle this was to leave it there and call for a re-inspector to pick it up, carve off any contaminated bits, and then rinse it in boiling water.

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Pexels

Workers accidentally dropped meat on the floor relatively often. It’s very hard to avoid it when running around in a factory. What was uncommon was what the guy did. First, he tried catching it as it fell, but it ended up on the floor. Thinking that no one was watching, he tried picking it up, and he dropped it again. He did this three times. He shouldn’t have touched anything on the floor, as it would contaminate his gloves. But that’s not even the worst part. Out of frustration, he dropped down on all fours and proceeded to pick up the raw, freshly cut, 6-kg ham… by his teeth. Standing up, with the ham dangling from his chompers, he dropped it into the tub along with 600-kg of other product.

He was fired a few minutes after that, and the entire tub of product was discarded.

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“Oh, That’s Where My Cat Went!”

My uncle is a health inspector in rural Australia. He got several complaints about a fish-n-chips shop in a small town in Victoria, with reports of it being a bit grotty and people getting chunks of hair in their hot chips. He arrived there unannounced on a blazing hot day in the middle of the summer. The owner greeted him and showed him around wearing a white singlet top with sweat patches under the arms. He was also wearing short-shorts and had no shoes on. The guy’s body was covered in hair. Not just on his arms and chest, but his back and neck were like a werewolf. Clearly, this must be the source of the hair in the chips. My uncle decided to make a tactful comment about the need to wear appropriate clothing when working, to protect against hot oil burns.

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Digital Spy

After seeing the property and giving a few basic suggestions, the only other thing he noticed was the deep fryer. The oil is old, filthy, and likely full of this guys hair, so he orders the bloke to drain it out right then and there. As the oil drains, the bottom of the oil vat starts to reveal a dead, deep fried, crispy… cat. Totally unphased, the owner simply said, “Oh, that’s where my cat went!”

Turns out, a few months before, the shop was having a rodent problem, so the owner brought in a cat to catch them. He thought the cat escaped overnight and ran away but… nope. Mr. Chippy has been frying him up over and over and over again ever since. The clumps of hair locals were complaining about weren’t from the half-man-half-wolf owner but from the fur and flesh of a dead cat.

Just a Hungry Cow and a Few Loaves of Bread

My stepdad used to be a baker in an authentic recreation of an 18th-century New French fortress. Because they sold bread to the public, the health inspector came by, and she ripped into my stepdad for violations like the unsanitary stonework walls, the doorless entranceways, and the lack of a mosquito zapper. He pointed out that they were following the highest possible safety standards that would also preserve the authenticity of this 18th-century bakery. The health inspector relented and agreed to give him a pass after verifying the food storage area was secure.

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ET Online

They went to the shed, which was a doorless building attached to the bakery. As the health inspector went in, there happened to be an escaped cow licking all of the loaves. All my stepdad could say was, “Honestly, this never happens.” They still passed the health inspection.

The Value of Recycling

My mom used to work at this Mexican restaurant where the owner just did not care at all. My mom told me that a lady came in one time asking for beef soup, but they didn’t have any more meat. They were about to let the lady know when the owner stepped up and told the lady that her food would be right out. The server and my mom were both confused about what they were going to do.

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Vice

The owner literally went through the trash and pulled out some beef (some still with bone). She then ran it through water, cooked it and served it to that poor lady. My mom says the lady was even sucking on the bone. My mom quit that job soon after that.

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“I See You’ve Met Eduardo.”

I worked as an assistant cook in a restaurant. Two weeks into the job, I opened a cupboard to get a can of tomato sauce, and I saw a huge tarantula scuttling away behind the cans. I told the boss what I had seen, so maybe he could get someone to deal with the giant spider living in the kitchen.

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Taste of Country

My boss turned to me and said, “I see you’ve met Eduardo. Just don’t put your hand too close to him, and you’ll be good.” Later, another cook proceeded to explain to me that the spider had been living there for two years, and they allowed it because it kept rodents and roaches away.

Salad Is a Hands-on Affair

I witnessed some things in my first job as a waitress at a banquet hall. The head cook had some hairy arms, and he always mixed the salad with his hands, so you know that hair was getting in there. One time, we found a used band-aid in the salad.

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The Black Sheep Online

Straight Out of a Cartoon

I was an assistant manager at a restaurant for a year during university. I once saw my sous chef flick a fillet steak out of the pan, kick it up with his foot and land it back in the pan. He did this three or four times. I was watching on the CCTV trying not to laugh every time he celebrated each catch.

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Twit Celeb Gossip
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Why Is the Baby in the Pizza Box?

I used to work next to a Chinese place that tenderized 20-pound roasts by repeatedly slamming them on the floor. I also worked at a pizzeria where one of the workers changed her baby in a pizza box.

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YouTube

A Side of Mouse

I received a complaint about a Chinese restaurant that served a lady a fully cooked mouse in her takeout container. I was pretty skeptical at first, but the lady froze the container and brought it to our office. Somehow, they didn’t notice that a mouse fell into the fryer while they were cooking and proceeded to box it up.

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NY Daily News

It’s Called Multitasking

I repair cooking equipment. I walked into a Chinese restaurant and found the cook sitting on the toilet, taking a #2 in full view of the world — while shelling peas.

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Pass the Smoky Mashed Potatoes

The chef would smoke inside the kitchen. I have seen him accidentally get ash in the mashed potatoes and continue to stir it around a little bit more. The one time I ate at the restaurant, I got food poisoning. Also, none of my coworkers would clean their hands before touching the food.

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That's So Raven

Dicing Garlic the Old Fashioned Way

An employee at a strip mall was on break and filmed a Chinese buffet worker stomping on garlic in a pail with ratty Nikes on. The restaurant closed after the video was posted.

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NBC Washington

That’s Not Chocolate

A restaurant in my hometown was closed down because the employees went #2 in a bowl of chocolate ice cream and served it to a customer. No joke.

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People
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A True American Horror Story

I was replacing CCTV cameras at a local Mexican restaurant. I removed a camera near the grill, and the hole in the wall where the cable goes into started to pour out cockroaches. It looked like it was out of some horror movie. They just kept coming out, en-masse.

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Bravo TV

Toilet Water Rice

A health inspector came to our restaurant a few years ago and told us about the time he went to a Chinese restaurant and caught them washing rice inside the toilet bowl in the employee restroom. I thought he was kidding… until he showed us pictures.

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Narcity

The Wrong Approach to Zero Waste

My grandfather used to own a restaurant around 30 to 40 years ago. I guess health inspections were a bit more relaxed back then. My dad told me that he made sure none of the meat would go to waste, even the meat that was leftover on customers’ plates. All the leftover meat was ground up and then used to make hamburgers.

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Best Life Online
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Fly-Infused Coffee

One time at the restaurant I used to work at, we had a coffee maker that would not brew coffee. When we took it apart, it was full of dead flies that were stopping the coffee from coming out.

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Roaches for Protein

My father works for Pepsi and does maintenance on machines in my hometown. He was fixing a machine in a Chinese place, and while in the back, he witnessed a very hairy, sweaty Chinese man stirring lo mein with his bare arms. But that’s not even the worst part — there were roaches everywhere, and they crawled into the lo mein! The guy just acted like it was nothing and would just pick them out. The restaurant got shut down not long after that.

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YouTube

The Epitome of Double Dipping

My professor in my college town told me that he was friends with the health inspector, and they tested the local Mexican restaurant’s salsa, and it had traces of saliva in it. Apparently, this restaurant would re-use the salsa left over at the table.

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Versed Online
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Were They Going to Eat Bambi?

I went on a blind date with a woman WAY out of my league who was a health inspector for our area. She told me about a Chinese food place in the next town over that she had shut down a few years prior. They walked in to do a follow-up and witnessed the cooks dragging a deer that had been hit by a car through the kitchen door. She closed them down right then. I can’t get that thought out of my head whenever I pass the building.

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YouTube

So, That’s What Goes in Gravy

My dad worked for KFC as a teen. They used to make the gravy out of the sludge at the bottom of the fryers. He was also told to fry raw chicken that was left out overnight.

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Homdor

More Than a "Dusting" of Flour on Those Baked Goods

A chain department store was remodeling their bakery department. The chefs were preparing donuts and cakes for the day while the carpenters were changing out ceiling tiles directly above them. Fiberglass insulation, dust, and other miscellaneous things were floating down into the dough and everyone carried on like nothing was happening.

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YouTube
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Restaurant or Private Bathroom?

It was well known that a beloved pizza place in town had closed because one of its cooks (who lived in his car in the parking lot) would come in, strip down in the kitchen and take bird baths in the sink that the produce was washed in.

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Shedding of the Ego

How Much Could a Little Extra Sauce Really Cost?

I worked at a major pizza chain, and one time, a large bucket of pizza sauce spilled on the floor where we had been working all morning. Worried about food cost, my manager scooped the contents back up with a piece of cardboard from the trash and put it back in the bucket. The bucket then went back on the line to be used that night. I never ate there again, and I quit shortly after that.

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The National

Just a Little Febreze Should Do

I worked at a chain pizza place for two years. During a period of heavy rain, the sewage pipe started backing up and overflowing into the store — right by the area where we make food. They told us to Febreze the area so the customers couldn’t smell it. I called the health department.

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Vulture
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No Glove, No Love

I was eating at a sushi restaurant which looked pretty clean at first glance. Good decor, open kitchen, and the chefs were wearing gloves. Then, I saw one chef walk into the washroom with gloves on, and when he came out, he still had gloves on. I thought, “Maybe there are spare gloves in the washroom,” so I went to check.

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Kairo

Nope. No gloves.

If We Don’t Tell, Then It Doesn’t Exist

At my first restaurant job, we had a problem with the drain sometimes, and sewage would flood the kitchen. The managers specifically told us not to mention it to anyone, or they’d get shut down.

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Futurity

Just a Few Extra "Sprinkles"

I was a manager at an ice cream store. The toilet overflowed, releasing bacteria into the air. The owner didn’t want to pay for a proper clean-up. Everyone that day ate a little bit of excrement. I quit soon after that.

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