Early Monday morning, Reddit erupted with a video of an alleged cook at Golden Corral in Port Orange, Fl. exposing the restaurant hiding its food behind the dumpsters during a corporate inspection. The employee, Brandon Huber, takes the video camera behind the trash cans to show piles of raw baby-back ribs, and trays upon trays of hamburger meat, pot roasts, and green bean casserole. In a follow-up video, he explains that after the inspection, management will roll the food back to the coolers, and serve it up to unsuspecting customers.
"I will show this to whoever I can to prevent any foodborne illnesses from spreading, or anybody catching diseases or getting really sick and possibly being able to die because this is how we store our food," he tells the camera. "Are you kidding me? By the dumpster? Oh my god."
A server who answered the phone at the Golden Corral quickly transferred AOL Jobs's call Monday morning, but the following rings went unanswered. The restaurant chain did respond on Reddit and its Facebook page, however, stating that it was "an isolated incident of improper food handling," and that the food was thrown away immediately and the manager fired. The restaurant also stated that the employee offered to sell the video, suggesting that the employee's intentions weren't entirely noble.
Update, 5.17 p.m. EDT: A PR woman for Golden Corral added over email that Huber reported the food incident to district management while the inspection was still ongoing, and the food was promptly disposed of, and never served to any customers.
for sale on eBay, offering to sell the name of the "FAMOUS FOOD CHAIN" for $5,000, and claimed the Port Orange Police Department responded with accusations of black mail.
The North Carolina-based chain has skirted the edge of health codes before. In 2008, a customer's photo inside a California Golden Corral kitchen, showing towers of food-caked plates, an overflowing trash can, and chicken bones scattered on the floor, prompted a visit from the public health department. The chain explained that the dishwasher was broken that day. And earlier this year, over 200 customers, who claimed to suffer food poisoning after eating at a Golden Corral in Wyoming, filed a class action suit.
A rogue investigator on Reddit also uncovered that this Wyoming Golden Corral appeared to be filtering out all its negative reviews on Yelp. "I have written this review before and now it appears to be gone?" wrote one customer. "Poor food and trying to manipulate customers, I recommend taking your business elsewhere."
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