A single Wendy’s location in Catoosa, Oklahoma is bringing about a public relations nightmare for The Wendy’s Company after employees shared videos of rodents infiltrating the restaurant’s consumable inventory.
The video, as reported by WCVB out of Tulsa, Oklahoma, shows what appears to be mice or rats crawling around inside a bag of hamburger buns. To top things off, visible fecal matter from the aforementioned rodents is also present in the video.
The Wendy’s Company was quick to release a statement on the video, which has now gone viral.
“Nothing is more important… than the safety of our employees and customers… We have stringent procedures in place to ensure a safe and well-maintained restaurant.”
It’s worth noting that this location in Catoosa is but a single unit amid many. The Wendy’s Company owns more than 5,000 restaurants across the United States and says they have launched a full-on investigation into this matter.
However, it’s also worth noting that the Catoosa location, according to employees, is not without a history of other issues. Reports involve members of management apparently having a casual attitude about loose cigarettes being left on prep-area tables, as well as allowing visibly-ill employees to prepare food, without the barrier of personal protective equipment, like disposable gloves, or face covers.
Many employees have expressed their desire to quit the restaurant if standards aren’t brought up to what they would consider acceptable, but management has reportedly denied many of the claims.
The magnitude of health safety codes in fast food restaurants cannot be overstated. Fast Food restaurants serve approximately 50 million customers per day. Health issues from a single restaurant have the potential to indirectly affect millions of people across the country and indeed the world.
An estimated 44 percent of Americans claim to eat out at least once per week. Health codes are considered by many restaurant owners and employees to be excessive and often difficult to implement or enforce. While that may be true, a massive chunk of the US population relies on these restaurants to supply their nourishment. Sanitation in prep and cooking areas, along with the quality of food served, is an integral part of keeping Americans safe from avoidable, but often difficult to treat, illnesses.
Rats and mice are often thought to spread disease, particularly from the fleas they often carry. Centuries ago they were believed to be responsible for The Bubonic Plague which killed an estimated 25 million people. However, it has recently been discovered that the fleas and body lice responsible for The Black Death were in fact from humans, not rats.
Although a recent case was reported in Idaho, today, Bubonic Plague is extremely rare and easily treatable by a medical professional.