When Tara Williams, 46, and her family popped into an Ann Arbor, Michigan, Subway to grab a bite to eat, they couldn’t believe what they saw happening in the food prep area.
The family had been at Williams’ niece’s basketball tournament and finally caught a break in the games, so they zipped out to enjoy a quick meal, according to Michigan Live. Williams and her niece trekked across the street for their food, but the girl’s parents stayed and dined at the Subway.
When Williams and her niece rejoined them at the Subway, her brother-in-law gestured toward the kitchen area. Williams was aghast at what she saw.
“This is at the Subway on State St. near the U of M! Quite disgusting! I’m sure the health dept would have an issue with this. Bon appetit,” she wrote on Facebook, adding a vomiting emoji to her post.
It turned out that a Subway worker there just couldn’t wait to get home and pop those feet up for a quick break. So the employee kicked off her shoes and socks, then placed her bare feet right next to where food is prepared.
Williams shared with Michigan Live that she was “appalled.” She didn’t say anything while in the store but thought she would draw attention to the issue on social media. It worked. The post caught the attention of Kristen Schweighoefer, Washtenaw County Health Department environmental health director.
According to WTHR, health inspectors paid a visit to that Subway to ensure that the food prep area had been properly sanitized. Then they provided cleanliness tips to the restaurant as a way to make sure nothing like this ever happened again.
“They made sure the area was properly sanitized and provided education on how to prevent such incidents going forward,” Schweighoefer told Michigan Live.
WTHR stated that the employee apologized for the incident and claimed it was “a mistake” that occurred at the end of a long day.
Corporate officials with Subway were notified about the incident as well. The company released a statement about the occurrence and seemed to be none too thrilled about it.
“The behavior in this photo is inconsistent with the high standards Subway Franchise Owners follow,” said Kip Klopfenstein, president at Subway Development of Central Michigan.
“Their top priorities include food safety and cleanliness, and this is unacceptable.”
Because this particular location in question had a clean inspection record, it was not shut down. Health inspectors conduct surprise investigations twice a year and the December investigation at the Subway in question yielded no violations.
Williams didn’t apologize for the Facebook post, but instead said she hoped it would help the restaurant do better, according to Michigan Live.
“Every other week there is some kind of recall on foods, so we have to be better people,” Williams said. “If you’re going to have a business, you have to abide by the laws, rules, and regulations. Everyone has their long days, but you have to abide by the rules. You can’t take your shoes off and put your feet up.”