NBC12 reporter Ashley Swann has exposed four “critical violations” in the television station’s break room, the host of the popular “Restaurant Report” said last night.
Among the violations, Swann said, were several Gladware containers of old leftovers sitting in the back of the refrigerator; small bits of food left in a sink that doesn’t have an In-Sink-Erator; a “foul stench” coming from what smelled like a microwaveable fish dinner; and evidence that NBC12 interns may have been storing anchor Gene Cox’s evening snacks at improper temperatures.
Swann’s weekly segment, which airs the state health department’s official inspection list of regional restaurants, featured five locations comprising 23 “critical” code violations. This was the first such incident involving an office lounging area.
“Heading into the Southside, we uncovered four critical violations in the NBC12 break room,” Swann said in the two-minute segment. Her comments were followed by the trademark sound of the Restaurant Report’s “stamp pound,” heard when a black-and-white box reading “4 Critical Violations” is overlapped onto a photograph of the break room.
“Among [the problems],” Swann continued, “state inspectors found hardened bits of macaroni and cheese in the sink. Someone obviously made fish and didn’t bother to mask the smell. And evening anchor Gene Cox’s European pears were found laying on a bare counter – not properly refrigerated at 47 degrees to 51 degrees Fahrenheit, as he requests.”
State health inspectors last visited the NBC12 break room in August and found several infractions, and newsroom janitor Mona M. Harris later said she “did not expect” any more problems in further reviews. At that time, Swann exposed eight critical violations, including a burnt-out light bulb in the refrigerator, a pot of coffee nearly seven hours old, a snack machine that was out of Cheetos, and half a cooked pig laying in the corner from a recent NBC12 barbeque.