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Employee garners support after being fired for reporting unhygienic restaurant to Health Department

Having worked in the food industry for almost a decade, the employee knew that the kitchen's condition was sure to cause illness.

Employee garners support after being fired for reporting unhygienic restaurant to Health Department
Representative Cover Image Source: Pexels | Creative Vix, Reddit | u/dethscythe_104

Being a selfless person in this competitive world is quite complicated. Especially at work, where people don't even tolerate someone standing up for themselves, the scope of sustenance for people who stand up for others is feeble. Such was the case for this restaurant employee from Missouri who got fired for simply trying to prevent food-borne illness. Posting on Reddit, u/dethscythe_104 wrote about how the kitchen of a restaurant they worked in had poor hygiene conditions. When they tried to take corrective measures, the restaurant owner fired them. The internet did not take this lightly and even suggested some viable counteractions against the owner.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Timur Saglambilek
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Timur Saglambilek

The employee, who has worked in the food industry for 9 years and in customer service for over 15 years, wrote, "I was fired today by the owner of a restaurant because I filed a complaint with the health department." Ever since they took the job at this restaurant, they've been witnessing several unhygienic practices, like the kitchen staff not washing their hands and following incorrect cooking temperatures. They emphasized that these actions are sure to cause foodborne illness in the customers. Sharing one instance, the employee wrote, "I clocked into work and found two sinks full of ribs thawing. Upon closer inspection, I found that they were using hot water."

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Liza Summer
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Liza Summer

When the employee inquired about the ribs being thawed in the sink, the line staff and the house manager had the same response: that they knew better and someone else must have done that. Realizing the irresponsible actions of the restaurant staff, the employee reported this situation, along with other hygiene issues, to the Health Department. Despite making an anonymous complaint, the employee was targeted by the restaurant owner, who bombarded them with questions, trying to make them confess about the reporting. Explaining how the owner got to know that they were the ones who complained, the employee wrote, "I asked him hypothetically if it was me, what would he do and the owner said he would be doing a lot more than our sit-down talk. He took that as a confirmation that it was me."

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Antoni Shkraba production
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Antoni Shkraba production

The employee was fired from their job, but it wasn't really unexpected. "This is a second job that I was using to catch up on bills and to get gifts," they wrote and explained, "I tried to stay anonymous as much as possible. I figured something like this would happen, as I was already heading out the door metaphorically. I just wanted to milk another week or two." Talking about the 3-month experience in that restaurant, they said, "I kept telling friends and family not to eat there. I had the opportunity to eat free food from there and after seeing some of the horror, I decided not to."

Image Source: Reddit | u/Wordly_Mix_2138
Image Source: Reddit | u/Wordly_Mix_2138

 

Image Source: Reddit | u/Obxyz
Image Source: Reddit | u/Obxyz

"You’re protected as a whistleblower. This is 100% retaliation. Contact an employment lawyer asap," commented u/Intelligent-King6234. "Serve-safe certified cook here. You did the right thing. I hope go the sake of their customers that the health department does the right thing," wrote u/Rabid-kumquat. "Sounds like you did the right thing and saved many people's health over your job. Thank you! I wish more employees would stand up and tell owners who are trying to be cheap that you can't be cheap at the expense of food safety regulations. Hopefully, they get a surprise inspection and a big fine," wrote u/anonymousforever.

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