Trump’s Mar-A-Lago Restaurant Was Cited With 78 Health Violations

Government of Japan/CC BY 4.0

While President Trump called the Red Hen "filthy" without evidence, Mar-A-Lago has had dozens of health code violations.

As President Donald Trump launched a Monday morning Twitter attack against the Red Hen, a small Virginia restaurant that made news for throwing out White House press secretary Sarah Sanders Friday night, it is timely to revisit an August 2017 Associated Press report detailing the shortcomings of Trump’s own Mar-A-Lago restaurant.

In a three-year period, Mar-A-Lago was cited with 78 health code violations, ranging from improperly refrigerated raw meat to cooks preparing food sans hairnets.

Among the "high priority" problems described as "potentially hazardous" were faulty fridges with meats stored well above the required 41 degrees Fahrenheit. For example, in the restaurant's walk-in cooler, the duck and beef were measured at 50 degrees, while a ham was at 57 degrees.

Other issues included smoked salmon being served without undergoing "proper parasite destruction" and a hand washing sink for employees with water that was not hot enough.

The above violations were discovered in January 2017, a few of the 15 problems cited by health inspectors just days before Trump entertained Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Mar-A-Lago.

Stephen Lawson, spokesman for the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, told the AP at the time that the violations were discovered as part of a routine inspection.

"The infractions were corrected on site, and the establishment was immediately brought into compliance," Lawson said on Thursday.

But these violations were not the first:

Over the last three years, records show the club has been cited 78 times for violations that included chefs handling food without washing their hands, dirty cutting boards, a slicer "soiled with old food debris" and an "accumulation of "black/green mold-like substance" in the ice machine.

On the contrary, the Red Hen – which has been the center of political controversy over its decision to oust Sanders – has a relatively clean health inspection record.

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