Claim: Video shows Golden Corral restaurant storing food in an outdoor trash enclosure.
Example: [Collected via e-mail, July 2013]
Origins: In July 2013, Brandon Huber, an employee at a Golden Corral restaurant in Port Orange, Florida, posted a video on YouTube showing trays of fly-covered meat (hamburger and baby back ribs) and other food stacked in trays next to dumpsters in a trash enclosure. According to Huber, the food was placed out there by the restaurant's managers in order to keep it out of sight of health inspectors who were currently visiting the restaurant: "Apparently, what my company likes to do when they get ready for inspection is put the food by the dumpsters."
In a follow-up video, Huber claimed the food shown in the trash enclosure would be returned to the restaurant after the health inspectors departed: "I'm scared of my employment. I don't know who to tell but I don't want to cook this food. I don't feel safe with it. My
Eric Holm at Metro Corral Partners, a franchisee who owns the restaurant shown in the video (as well as several other Golden Corral locations in Florida and Georgia) issued a statement maintaining that none of the food shown in the video was served to customers and was all destroyed shortly afterwards. The statement also asserted Huber knew the food had been destroyed rather than used because he participated in its disposal and claimed Huber's father had attempted to sell the video for thousands of dollars:
Brandon Huber actually assisted in the disposal of the food items the day before he posted the videos. I am personally disappointed that
I have a fantastic team of 110 hard-working people at the Port Orange restaurant. Again, I apologize for this unfortunate incident.
The best scenario we can put together from these disparate accounts is that an associate manager at the Golden Corral restaurant in Port Orange knew the restaurant was either storing food improperly or was storing food of unacceptable quality, so when company inspectors unexpectedly showed up at the restaurant, the associate manager made the (unwise) choice of getting the offending food out of sight of the inspectors by having it placed outside in a trash enclosure. Employee Brandon Huber notified area management of what was going on, and someone higher up the management chain intervened (presumably after the inspection was complete) and ensured that the food in question was disposed of, not returned to the restaurant and served to guests. The associate manager responsible for the incident was fired, although it's not clear whether that action was taken before or after the incident was publicized on the Internet.
Whether the employee who posted the video knew (as claimed by management) that the food he captured in his video had truly been thrown away rather than returned to the restaurant, and (if that was the case) what his motivations for suggesting otherwise might have been, are open questions — as is the issue of how indicative this incident is of practices at Golden Corral restaurants.
Last updated: 8 February 2015