The Worst Things Health Inspectors Have Seen in a Restaurant –

Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on November 21st, 2019

Weve compiled a list from Reddit of the worst things inspectors have witnessed.

Comments have been edited for grammar and clarity.

I was a health inspector long ago. Was at a Golden Corral, going through the kitchen area.

As I was squatting down to check a dishwasher, my foot broke through the tile floor and into a sewer pipe that ran underneath.

Cockroaches come boiling out of the hole. Turns out the entire floor was rotten from a water leak in the sewer pipe.

Best (worst) part? The general manager tried to fight me when I told them they had to close down until they fixed the open hole into a pipe full of cockroaches and waste.


My dad used to be a health inspector and one story stands out.

Once while he was inspecting a Chinese restaurant, he saw a pail sitting on the floor filled with a green substance and asked what it was.

They told him, Soup of the day.

He asked what was in it and was told it was scraps. The bucket was never emptied, it turned out.

The scraps going in roughly equaled the soup going out, which meant that there was stuff in there that had been there for weeks at room temp, on the floor.

Dad had them dump it as he looked on.


My stepdad used to be a baker in an authentic recreation of an 18th century New French fortress.

Because they sell bread to the public, the health inspector came by, and she was ripping into my stepdad for violations like the stonework walls, the doorless entrance ways, or the lack of a mosquito zapper.

He pointed out that they were following the highest standards except for things that would destroy 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.

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.

My stepdad could only say, "Honestly, this never happens."


Im not a health inspector, but my husband was one. Here is my favorite story thats hes told me so far.

He once did an inspection in a southern style place.

While inspecting the fridge, he noticed there was a container of cat food in there. Whiskas cat food.

He was preparing to talk to the owner about not feeding strays, but instead, she began talking about how she got a good deal on a pallet of Whiskas and how no one could tell the difference.

Yeah, she was using it in the tuna melt sandwich. The worst part was that the place was known for its tuna melt.


I used to be a health inspector and once while I was inspecting a Chinese buffet, I noted to the employees that there were tubs of frozen, fried shrimp stacked on top of one another without covers.

They needed to discard the top layers of the food and put on the tub lids to keep the food safe from contamination.

As they scrambled to remove the top layer, they knocked over the tower of shrimp, spilling it all over the floor.

As I was standing there, they hurriedly started scooping the shrimp up and put them back into the tubs.

Im standing right here you guys!


I did commercial pest control for about 1.5 years.

Worst I saw in a restaurant was a kitchen so filthy that there was a two inches thick film on the floors, under all the equipment, that was just rotten food that had decomposed into a black sludge.

Cockroaches were everywhere. Like falling out of the corners of the front door in the soda machine, in the ice machine.

They had pieces of stainless steel screwed into the walls that the roaches were living behind and every time I treated back there thousands would run out.

So many you could hear them.

The wall between the kitchen and the dining area was so wet and moldy that slugs were reproducing and would slime their way across customers tables. The bar was just as bad.


I'm a fairly new health inspector, but I did see a hot-hold bar in a Bojangles.

Someone had the idea to close off the cabinet part underneath by sealing the door. This prevented any cleaning under the hot-hold wells.

I just happen to glance in there when an employee lifted up of the containers. There was a black "mass" of food debris and grease.

It didn't warrant an immediate revocation of their permit, but I did go back on a 10-day verification visit.

I also saw the manager of a different Bojangles in town step on a few roaches in the kitchen. He thought I didn't see him but I totally did.


I once got a call to go to a market. It seems the feds were there investigating EBT fraud.

While doing investigations they saw the market had caught a live rat in a cage-type trap and had left it in the middle of one of the aisles.

You might think that since the operator knew I was on my way that he might be motivated to remove the rat from the premises.

Of course, he didn't. And when I got there, I saw Mr. Whiskers chilling out in his cage.

In addition to the rat, I find droppings everywhere.

Floors, shelves, counters, cooking name it.


My friends dad was a health inspector.

Part of his job was to check on the condition of the vehicles and to ensure food was being transported safely.

There was a problem and he was called to verify that the food inside was safe for consumption and to determine the correct origin and destination, etc.

When he started to inspect the vehicle he noticed that it was leaking a lot of water, so he guessed the refrigeration on the truck might not be working correctly.

He had to open the back and take a temperature reading to see if the food was going to need to be disposed of. When he opened the back of the truck tons of slimy, smelly, raw chicken fell off a food rack on top of him.

It had not been tied down correctly and it was a hot summer day. The refrigeration hadnt been working for quite some time and nothing was to code.


I work in food safety and Ive definitely seen it all.

Probably the worst was seeing a restaurant employee attempting to separate raw frozen chicken breasts with a rusty crowbar and hammer. I had to make a few phone calls for that one.

Ive also been to a franchise of a large restaurant chain that had no actively working coolers in the entire facility and they werent actively doing anything to resolve the problem.

I checked their temperature logs and quickly realized theyd been holding and serving un-refrigerated food for about three days straight.


Former Inspector here. I once discovered a rat infestation in the kitchen of a hospital.

They asked me if I could prove my "suspicions." I pointed out the numerous foodstuffs with one to two-inch circular holes chewed in them, but they didn't seem convinced.

I showed them the trail of droppings and footprints coming and going from a hole in the floor drain, but they didn't seem convinced.

I showed them the three dead rats I had discovered under and around equipment.

I think they began to believe me at that point. Citations included rat infestation and absolutely deplorable cleaning practices


Used to have a job working as an inspector for storage tanks at places like dairies and factories.

I went to a Cheesecake Factory 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 cleaning fluid used in the cleaning process.

Found out he 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.


Did food safety inspection at a large slaughterhouse.

One of the workers who was running service for the butchers had dropped a ham on the floor.

The proper way to handle this for him was to leave it there and call for a re-inspector to pick it up, take it out to carve off any contaminated bits and rinse it in boiling water.

First, he tried catching it as it fell. He didn't catch it though and it landed on the floor.

Thinking that no one was watching, he tried picking it up, and dropped it again. He did this three times.

He then, out of pure frustration at the unwieldy ham, dropped down on all fours, and proceeded to pick up the raw, freshly cut, 13 lb ham with his teeth.

Stood up, ham dangling from his chompers, dropped it into the tub with around 1300 lbs of product and drove off with the tub for processing.


My Dad was one, is now retired.

He noted the trays at a Chinese restaurant weren't clean or warm. When he asked the employees, they acknowledged the heating element had failed, but that there was still a chemical backup.

Somehow, though, it wasn't hitting the dishes.

Then he saw a cockroach crawl out of the washer. Attempting to understand how the dishes were not getting rinsed, he found that it was backed up with cockroaches.

They were 'cleaning' the trays. They 'closed for remodeling' for 3 days, but it was really cleaning up in order to pass inspection before they were allowed to open again.


My stepmother is the lead health inspector for a decent sized suburban town.

A truck full of lobsters was traveling down the highway and crashed. The police came, and eventually, they towed the truck.

As a member of the board, my stepmother was consulted to see if any of the lobsters were viable and she told them they werent.

The road is a total loss since there were literally lobsters scattered across the highway covered in dirt and sand.

Fast forward 24 hours and one of the restaurants in town ran a special: twin lobsters for $19.99!

Apparently, the owner of the trucking/towing company knew the restaurant owner pretty well so they made a deal whereby the restaurant would pay a very discounted price for the 'road lobsters.

The restaurant would turn around and illegally serve the lobsters to unsuspecting customers or sell them out of a truck behind behind the restaurant.


See the original post:
The Worst Things Health Inspectors Have Seen in a Restaurant -

Related Post