The Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation found over a dozen violations at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago, a private club in Palm Beach where he has spent most weekends since he became president. The Miami Herald reported that the violations were found in January, after the inauguration, and some were deemed to be “high priority” — violations likely to pass on foodborne illness.
Donald Trump initially bought Mar-a-Lago from Marjorie Merriwether Post as a personal residence, but after running into some financial difficulties, he turned it into a private golf club, says the Inquisitr. Since Trump took office, Mar-a-Lago has become the “Winter White House,” and Trump and family have been spending most weekends there, entertaining dignitaries, so any reports of health code violations or unsafe food could have serious ramifications if someone were to become ill after eating at Mar-a-Lago.
The Washington Post is reporting that the violations were mostly found in the Mar-a-Lago kitchen, where food, including fish and meat, were not being stored at the appropriate temperatures. Additionally, fish was not being cooked to the right temperature in order to kill parasites.
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Coolers were not being maintained, and employees didn’t have a station for washing and drying their hands. Also, in the kitchen, employees did not have hairnets, hats, or hair coverings. Stephen Lawson, communications director for the Department of Business & Professional Regulation, put out a statement about some of the issues found at the Trump Mar-a-Lago Club and the action taken to correct the problems.
“These infractions were part of a routine inspection and were not complaint-based. The infractions were corrected on site and the establishment was immediately brought into compliance.”
Some of these issues came as a big surprise to those who know Donald Trump, because he is a man very concerned about germs and bacteria, says Tom Sietsema of the Washington Post.
“Trump, a reluctant hand-shaker who has been known to chew out double-dippers at parties. ‘One bad hamburger, and you can destroy McDonald’s,’ said Trump, ever the businessman with an eye on the bottom line.”
But the Miami Herald detailed the issues found in the kitchen at Mar-a-Lago that they might want to watch in the future. They stressed that for a club with $200k in initiation fees, members expect top-shelf service from the staff, particularly in terms of food service.
The kitchen in the actual White House, back in Washington, D.C., is said to be held to very high standards (making a foreign dignitary sick is considered to be very poor form, and could literally cause an international incident). The Herald stressed that several of the concerns on the health department report could make many Mar-a-Lago members more than a bit upset, and Trump should brace himself for complaints.
According to the health department, temperature was the biggest issue.
▪ “Fish designed to be served raw or undercooked, the inspection report reads, had not undergone proper parasite destruction. Kitchen staffers were ordered to cook the fish immediately or throw it out.”
▪ “In two of the club’s coolers, inspectors found that raw meats that should be stored at 41 degrees were much too warm and potentially dangerous: chicken was 49 degrees, duck clocked in a 50 degrees and raw beef was 50 degrees. The winner? Ham at 57 degrees.”
▪ “The club was cited for not maintaining the coolers in proper working order and was ordered to have them emptied immediately and repaired.”
The media reached out to Mar-a-Lago General Manager Bernd Lembcke, but he did not return calls for comment.
Are you surprised that the Trump Mar-a-Lago club had so many health code violations? Would you expect more for a $200k initiation fee?
[Featured Image by Evan Agostini/Getty Images]