Wilmington, Delaware, USA: A Delaware Burger King where video shows rodents scurrying among hamburger buns has reopened. The restaurant had been closed by the health department because of rodent infestation and gross, unsanitary conditions.
The Division of Public Health’s Dr. Karyl Rattay also cited an “imminent health hazard” as a cause for closing the eatery in a June 1 letter to the Burger King’s owner, Rackson Restaurants LLC.
The inspection report said, among other things, that rodent droppings were found inside the hamburger and chicken sandwich rolls. Droppings also were found behind fryers.
Inspectors were back at the Burger King at 2802 Concord Pike for a requested reinspection on Monday.
In a statement, Burger King Media Relations said, “Food safety and hygiene is always a top priority for us. The Franchisee, who independently owns and operates the location, has taken the appropriate measures to address the issue and prevent this from happening again in the future. We can confirm the restaurant reopened after passing a health inspection on Monday.”
The Burger King in Delaware was temporarily closed by the health department after an investigation, triggered by an online video of mice pillaging a pack of rolls, found numerous rodent droppings across the restaurant.
“Pallets that rolls were on had mouse droppings. Mouse droppings were observed on the floor near the ice machine, water heater, under storage, near syrup soda boxes and behind fryers,” a report from the Delaware Health and Social Service’s inspection said.
The probe resulted in a cease-and-desist letter filed last week against the Burger King outlet, located at 2802 Concord Pike in Wilmington, over “gross unsanitary conditions” that posed an “imminent health hazard.”
The restaurant was serving food and drinks Tuesday, but there were no customers in the store at 8 a.m. A sign on the front door said: “Now hiring cashiers and sandwich makers” and invited people to a job fair June 11 from 9 to 11 a.m.
“A career with Burger King is a career with a future!” the sign read. “When you work for us, you are part of one of the best restaurant companies in the world.”
According to the inspection report from Friday, 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 will be reinspected on Monday and at that time a risk control plan will be discussed.She said she will require management to show her a current pest service report, which must state that “service has increased and identify 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.
In the re-inspection report, the inspector said she met with the owner and management team, who gave her documents about an updated delivery process, pest service and employee training.
During the re-inspection, 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 leeking and no flies were found, the report said.
The Burger King location will have to complete a food establishment risk control plan “address key violations that caused (the) closure,” the report said.