A Golden Corral employee recorded and leaked footage exposing deplorable food preparation and storage practices purportedly used by one of the restaurant chain locations in Port Orange, Fla.
Long-time employee Brandon Huber shows partially prepared food and uncooked meat being stored by a dumpster in the restaurant parking lot. He zooms in on hamburger patties, chicken meat, green bean casserole, and other foods collecting flies under the daytime sun.
"All you can eat ribs, by the dumpster," he says.
Huber explains to his audience that the restaurant was in the middle of a health inspection and that hiding uncooked meat by the dumpster was the company's method of dealing with substandard food products during the mandatory reviews.
"To me this is disgusting," Huber says. "I don't feel that this is right. Look at it, what do you think?"
With an imitative air of investigative reporting and whistle-blowing, Huber is being accused of creating and posting the video purely for financial gain. It remains unclear whether the stored food was eventually served to customers, or simply being disposed of. He also wrote under his post that attempts to inform the Volusia County Health Department went unnoticed.
In response to the video, Golden Corral has issued a statement on its Facebook page claiming this was an "isolated incident" and that the company has never allowed this system for food disposal or storage:
In regard to the video that is currently being circulated by an employee of Golden Corral of an isolated incident of improper food handling at our Port Orange, Florida location please note:
1. The food in the video was never served to a single customer.
2. All of the food was thrown away immediately.
3. The employee in the video participated in disposing of the food.
4. The employee in the video - through his father - offered to sell the video.
5. The manager at the restaurant was terminated.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Management of Food Safety Practices, cooking destroys many of the active, vegetative forms of bacteria found in food, but many dormant spores of spore-forming bacteria — including illness-causing Clostridium blotulinum and Bacillus cereus — may survive the heat and produce toxins. All foodborne bacteria can fester and germinate to unsafe levels — before or after cooking — if food remains unrefrigerated for long periods of time.
"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," read a statement issued by the company that operates Golden Corral, Metro Corral Partners. "All were destroyed within the hour at the direction of management... The manager involved in the improper storage was terminated for failing to follow approved food handling procedures. The following day, the father of the employee posted an offer to sell the video for $5,000, which was not accepted."