Complaints of meat contamination at a local restaurant have prompted an investigation by the Amarillo Department Of Environmental Health.
A loyal Waffle House customer Mark Janes called Newschannel 10 and told us he saw blood dripping from the meat rack during his morning breakfast. This was at the Waffle House located on I-40 East off Lakeside Drive. Janes says he alerted employees, and when they opened the drawer, rotten meat was sitting in blood underneath it. He also says the meat had a greenish tint to it and that the meat near the contaminated area was still used for food service.
"The meat that they had pulled out of these plastic containers with all the blood and everything in it, they took bacon and sausage and fried it up and gave it to the customer," Janes said.
So he called the restaurants corporate offices and he filed a complaint with the Environmental Health Department.
According to a Waffle House spokesmen, Pat Warner, once the problem was discovered, the meat was immediately thrown away by the employee and at no time was contaminated food served to our customers.
The local health inspector did investigate and their reports says all corrective actions have been taken to correct the problem.
Concerns of unsanitary conditions at food service establishments spark several calls daily to the Amarillo Environmental Health Department, said Department Director Deree Duke.
Duke says when a complaint is first received it's prioritized by the level of hazard it poses to the community, but most cases begin an investigation with a 24 hour period. Duke also says most complaints they receive are about unsanitary conditions.
"A lot of times bathrooms won't be kept clean, someone will find they have not worn gloves or handled food with bare hands and served it to them. They may observe the employee not washing their hands."
Duke says a Registered Sanitarian will go to the establishment unannounced to investigate, and if there's a violation it's corrected on the spot, or the establishment is given ten days to fix it.
"Everybody is human mistakes happen and that's why we are here" said Duke.
Duke adds if the restaurant is open it's probably safe to eat in. If you are concerned you can visit the cities website at www.ci.amarillo.tx.us and click on the environmental health departments link to see a list of inspections at your favorite local restaurant.