The co-owner of a Carl’s Jr. location in Red Deer, Alberta, has been ordered by health authorities not to handle food after being caught on camera violating 10 food safety laws. Conscientious employees at the restaurant, with the help of a former manager, alerted authorities to the problem.
Jack Webb was taped by the in-store security camera mixing barbecue sauce and honey mustard sauce for the store’s burgers with his bare hands and forearms. He also transferred the sauces from one container to another with his ungloved fingers. When he did use a utensil, he used an unwashed spatula from the dirty dishes pile. He was captured putting food he had dropped on the floor back onto its warming tray and transferring raw chicken tenders from the batter mixture into the fryer without washing his bare hands.
According to kitchen staff, this kind of behavior had been going on for quite some time. Employees at the restaurant alerted Andrew Minnes, the former manager at the location, about the unhygienic acts.
Minnes attempted to discuss the complaints with Webb, but Webb reacted negatively. "His reaction was, 'I'm the owner' and then 'Too bad.' He made it clear to the staff as well that they don't say anything, 'Don't talk about what I'm doing, I do what I feel like doing,'" Minnes told CBC News.
The former manager began recording the CCTV screen in the kitchen so he could document evidence of Webb’s inappropriate kitchen behavior. He then showed the evidence to Canadian health officials.
"I've never seen anything like this. If he wasn't an owner, he would have been fired instantly. There wouldn't even have been a debate," Minnes continued.
Alberta Health Services (AHS) began investigating the situation immediately. An AHS officer was able to uncover that Webb had never taken food safety training courses; he has been ordered not to handle food until proof of such training has been provided.
Webb declined to speak with CBC News about the allegations. Carl’s Jr. Canada later responded to the news, calling Webb’s actions “unacceptable” and insisting that his behavior “in no way, represents Carl's Jr.'s commitment to safe food handling.” The chain has launched an independent safety audit of the location.
As employees at this Canadian location try to clean up their kitchen, the Carl’s Jr. brand has been cleaning up their ads.