Warning: the following story will make you want to eat in — for the rest of your life. At the very least, it may make your rethink having breakfast at the Waffle House in Forest City, Arkansas.
Antonio Robinson told local news station WREG that when he joined his friend for breakfast at his local Waffle House, they got more than just waffles.
His friend found hair in his food.
“He was just coughing. Cough. Cough. Making noises like that. I looked up at him. He went to pulling out strings of hair out his mouth.”
Finding hair in your food at a restaurant isn’t all that unusual. While it’s definitely a health violation, a strand or two may inadvertently end up in a meal from time to time, and though disgusting, such an unfortunate find won’t result in death.
But the reason why this Waffle House customer found hair in his food is the most interesting and shocking part of this story.
While Antonio watched his friend pull hair from his mouth like magic scarves, he glanced over into the kitchen, where he saw two employees styling their hair with restaurant equipment.
Since this is 2016 and there’s such a thing called the Internet, he pulled out his cell phone to capture the scene.
“She dipped her hair down in the pot and when it came back up she was drying it off with one of the towels. I see people do that in their houses and things like that but for a restaurant, I don’t know.”
Indeed, a close inspection of the video reveals one employee fussing with her long hair in the kitchen while a co-worker helps, the New York Daily News added. Her hair is pretty close to a small pot on the stove, but since the video is a tad dark, it’s not immediately clear that she dipped it in the pot. She is, however, clearly drying her locks with a towel.
The News implied that the pair were engaging in this in-kitchen grooming session while preparing food for customers.
Naturally, Robinson’s video got the attention of more than just the Internet. The local health inspector was pretty interested in it, too, and launched a full-scale probe into the incident.
At the very least, even a little bit of errant hair in the kitchen of a restaurant is a health violation, forget about washing one’s hair in the same pot used to prepare food for the public.
The store manager of that particular Waffle House wouldn’t let local reporters bring their cameras into the restaurant or its kitchen, but he did confirm that the on-duty groomers were kicked to the curb.
“That’s not acceptable. That’s why we terminated them,” the manager told a WREG reporter, who then asked if he was outraged.
“I was embarrassed. But it’s all taken care of now. That’s all I can say.”
Since then, the health inspector has swept through the Forest City Waffle House and given it a clean bill of cleanliness, expect for some scum on the floor that will taken care of.
In response to the disturbing hair video, Waffle House’s corporate headquarters has said that such behavior is intolerable.
“We were made aware of this via a Facebook Private message this morning. We immediately reached out to the local management team. After identifying the parties involved, they were immediately terminated. The health department has been out to the restaurant for an inspection which it passed, and they have closed the case. We do not tolerate these behaviors and strive to provide a clean, safe environment for all our customers.”
So what lesson did Robinson learn on Friday morning? “People can learn from this and be cleaner everywhere and keep people from getting sick,” he said.
[Photo by Rob Wilson/Shutterstock]