Golden Corral dumpster burgers

A tale of lies, extortion and raw meat

WRITTEN BY: Michael DeLaney
Image Source: johncatral via Flickr

Golden Corral describes itself as "real, wholesome foods in a family-friendly atmosphere at a great value.” In the past week it would seem that that atmosphere includes “storing” raw hamburger patties and ribs by a fly-rattled dumpster.

Golden Corral, the popular restaurant chain that your grandparents just can’t get enough of, is currently under investigation for health code violations. The franchise in question is a Golden Corral in Port Orange, Fla., where an employee made a YouTube video documenting the ill-advised storage practices.

The Golden Corral employee who made the video is Brandon Huber, who posted the video to Reddit shortly after recording it. Huber also uploaded pictures of the Golden Corral kitchen, which was littered with dirty dishes and excessive amounts of garbage.

In the video Huber notes that the Golden Corral franchise is due for an upcoming health inspection, saying:

"Apparently what my company likes to do to get ready for inspections is to put their food by the dumpsters."

He further describes his disappointment with his restaurant:

"To me this is disgusting," Huber says on the video. "I'm an employee here. I've been working here for a long time. I don't feel this is right." 

Huber’s video has accumulated over 280,000 views on YouTube and thousands of comments. In an example of utter lack of ingenuity one such commenter proclaimed Huber as "the Edward Snowden of the buffet business."

Yesterday the Consumerist reported a statement issued by Golden Corral:

“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… The manager involved in the improper storage was terminated for failing to follow approved food handling procedures.”

Given the PR disaster that Golden Corral has on its hands, it’s not very surprising that they let the manager go. However the more interesting tidbit from the statement indicates that young Mr. Huber may have had prior knowledge of these questionable practices, and even attempted to profit from it.

“The following day, the father of the employee posted an offer to sell the video for $5,000, which was not accepted,” the Consumerist reports.

So the little bugger was trying to strong arm Golden Corral, eh? Looks like the would-be whistleblower doesn’t have a heart of gold after all.

Huber has not been fired by the restaurant chain, but has been sent on paid leave for the time being.

This is just the latest in a series of health concerns from nation-wide chain restaurants. Golden Corrals in particular have had a few run-ins with the health department over the past several years, with violations including salmonella as well as rodent and roach infestations.

So for the time being it might be best to direct ol’ Grandpa Jessup to a Cracker Barrel or some other restaurant.

Better yet invite him over to your place for his next meal. I’m sure ol’ Grandpa Jessup could use the company.

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