Owner responds to kitchen nightmare as dirtiest in 2012
Some kitchens went to great lengths in 2012 to keep the Food Patrol from reporting what's not on the menu.
The manager at Breaktime in Raymondville fled from Action 4's Ryan Wolf in October, while the owner at My Country Store in Sebastian took a completely different approach just one month later.
"Why are you guys locking the door?" Ryan asked. "The owner doesn't want you here," a worker responded while holding the door open just a crack.
"But you're locking a customer on the inside," Ryan said in response.
After the brief conversation the door locked once again.
Customers said they felt trapped like a rat inside.
It's quite ironic considering the business was busted with rodents.
"I just didn't know what was going," one man said after he was allowed to leave the locked store.
Demerit downplaying was an all-too predictable ploy by some dirty diners.
The manager at Big Daddy's on Central Boulevard in Brownsville caused a stir in the public with the words he used to describe the restaurant's health score back in December.
"We did have a couple of demerits," he said.
"Do you really think 40 is a couple of demerits?" Ryan questioned.
"Can you just put down the camera?" the manager said in response.
China Star on Highway 77 in Raymondville didn't downplay rodents in the restaurant back in June, instead management lied about it all together.
And the response appeared to be identical to what was said six months prior as played out verbatim for Food Patrol fans to hear on television.
"I'm here to ask you about the rodent poop," Ryan said in December 2011.
"Oh we don't have," the restaurant manager responded.
In June, the Food Patrol returned to question rodent contamination once again.
"It says it right here... rodent droppings and your signature is right there," Ryan said after the manager tried to deny that the violation existed.
"We don't have," the manager once again said.
"You seem to say the same thing every time we're here, Ryan said. Is it rehearsed?" Ryan asked.
"Right now we don't do that," she said. "Thank you."
Last year's unforgettable interview took place outside El Charrito in Brownsville when owner Roy Morton tried to defend his cook's dirty actions to the Food Patrol.
An inspector caught the cook in April with his fingers in the mole to pick out debris.
Roy didn't think it was wrong. "At home you TMre trying to tell me your wife or mother| they all wear gloves," Roy questioned.
With all due respect Roy, somebody is coming to your restaurant to pay for food, they TMre not paying for a finger in the mole, Ryan said in response.
With 58 demerits last January, Kiki's on 7035 North Expressway 77 in Olimto ranked the worst.
The Food Patrol went back to the restaurant to share the news and to see what lessons were learned since the report.
"It has a bad reflection on all the Kiki's," Carlos Angeles, the owner said. "We are like 9. We are all over the Valley."
Sweeping changes have taken place, according to Carlos.
The owner called the distinction as dirtiest restaurant of 2012 both an embarrassment and an eye-opener.
"We hired new people, new management, new waiters, everything," Carlos said through a translator. "We sent them to courses so we can be clean and do the best for people."
There's a sense of pride in the kitchen now.
Carlos wants the public to know that the kitchen is not only safer but the cleanest it's ever been thanks to a year on Food 4 Thought many won't soon forget.Click here to follow Ryan Wolf on Twitter