TAMPA, Florida -- Video shot by a Port Orange Golden Corral employee showing trays of uncooked food stored next to the outdoor garbage dumpster is making national headlines.
While the employee alleged the food was taken back inside to be cooked, a statement released by Golden Corral says the food was being thrown out and was never served to customers.
"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. All were destroyed within the hour at the direction of management. Brandon Huber, the employee who made the video, participated in the disposal of the food. The following day, the father of the employee, posted an offer to sell the video for $5,000, which was not accepted. The manager involved in the improper storage was terminated for failing to follow approved food handling procedures."
--Eric Holm, Metro Corral Partners
The controversy was enough for us to check into the inspection reports for our local Golden Corral restaurants.
10 News poured through thousands of lines of state inspection data, taking a look at inspection reports for the 12 Bay area Golden Corral locations, and comparing them to all of the other restaurants across Tampa Bay.
What we found was that Golden Corral had significantly more violations, averaging 11 total violations per visit over the past year. That's 64 percent higher than other restaurants here in Bay area, according to state inspection data.
When it came to high priority violations, infractions that the state warns can potentially make a customer sick, Golden Corral had on average almost two high priority violations per visit, about 70 percent higher than other local restaurants.
One of the worst inspection reports we found in our area was from the Golden Corral on Hillsborough Avenue west of the airport in Tampa. In January, the location was shut down as an emergency closure with 42 violations, eight considered high priority.
Among the issues were temperature violations on the guacamole, ham, chicken, deviled eggs and butter; employees not properly washing their hands; soil residue in food storage containers; and insect activity. The inspector documented 20 dead and 16 live roaches under the Asian buffet, roach excrement all over the walls and buffet equipment, along with small flying insects in the food storage area.
We found more temperature violations and insects on the state report from Golden Corral in Temple Terrace, roach issues at the Brooksville location, food not properly date marked, and a mold-like substance in the ice machine at the Brandon location.
In Bradenton Golden Corral, an inspector reported finding pans of meat sitting out at room temperature for more than 30 minutes. There was yet more temperature abuse documented by state inspectors at locations in Largo and Lakeland.
We've posted inspection reports for all 12 Bay area Golden Corral locations:
You can also click here to search the Restaurant Red Alert database to see how your favorite restaurant stacks up.