2013 has not been a good year for the fast food industry. Not like 2012, a golden year in fast food, when the world was introduced to the Taco Bell Doritos Locos Taco and things seemed simpler, more peaceful. At least, less disgusting.
To recap This Year in Horrifying Fast Food News: Taco Bell taco shells have been licked. Wendy's Frosty has been guzzled. Dunkin Donuts employees have been threatened. Wendy's doesn't know the difference between a cheeseburger and a hamburger ("There's no cheese in hamburger!").
It was only a matter of time before the Internet found another fast food outrage to rally against: The Golden Corral in Port Orange, Fla., where cook Brandon Huber recorded the following video.
"We're currently undergoing an inspection," Huber explains in the video. "Apparently, what my company likes to do to get ready for inspections is put their food by the dumpsters...To me, this is disgusting. I've been working here for a long time. And I don't think this is right."
The video shows racks of raw meat, some uncovered, sitting on trays by the dumpster behind the restaurant. In a follow-up video, he continues, "As an employee here, I would not eat this stuff. If this is what the Golden Corral in Port Orange does, I don't want to think what every other Golden Corral around the world does."
Huber has been compared to Edward Snowden (the NSA whistleblower) on Reddit, but he apparently had a different hero in mind: Dr. Phil. "last weekend i took the Dr Phil's weekend challenge to turn a problem in to an opportunity," the YouTube description for the video reads. (He also says that he sent the video to Dr. Phil, but apparently did not receive a response back, writing, "???????? it was his challenge!.....")
Huber claims that he attempted to file a complaint with the restaurant's management team, who refused to listen. He has also allegedly attempted to contact the Golden Corral corporate offices, county health department and local news affiliates, but "they didn't give a damn !......."
Golden Corral has taken to Facebook to respond to the viral video (especially after their Yelp page was flooded with one-star reviews): "In regard to the video that is currently being circulated by an employee of Golden Corral of an isolated incident of improper food handling at our Port Orange, Florida location please note:
1. The food in the video was never served to a single customer.
2. All of the food was thrown away immediately.
3. The employee in the video participated in disposing of the food.
4. The employee in the video – through his father – offered to sell the video.
5. The manager at the restaurant was terminated."
There are two sides to every story, yes. But this isn't the first time that Golden Corral has been accused of less-than-appetizing working conditions. "Why is this restauraunt still open serving maggot smack and fly trialings to the people of Port Orange??" Huber asks.
"I'm scared of my employment. I don't know who to tell," he confesses. "But I don't want to cook this food, I don't feel safe with it. My management is going to wheel it back into the cooler after the inspection, like nothing ever happened.
Here's hoping the comparison between Brandon and Snowden begin and end at the whistleblowing and Huber will not be forced to flee the country.
Alternately, get the heck out of there, Brandon! Flee Golden Corral! Flee! Pull that "You can't fire me, I quit!" line and hightail it to a Panda Express immediately. We haven't heard about anything gross happening there. Yet.