DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. – The owner of China Buffet and Grill was spotted digging through a dumpster outside the restaurant for several minutes, removing item after item while his wife played look out, witnesses said.
He then walked out to the other side of the dumpster and did it again, pulling out more items, video showed.
Witnesses claim he was removing food from the garbage bin and called Local 10 News about the incident, adding that the owner took the food back to his restaurant located at 40226 West Hillsboro Blvd., once state health inspectors had left.
The owner, when confronted by Local 10 News investigative reporter Jeff Weinsier, denied he went through the dumpster.
"There's video of you here," Weinsier said, attempting to show the owner footage of the dumpster dive.
"No, that's crazy," the owner said.
"Let me show it to you," Weinsier said.
"Stop, stop, stop," the owner said.
Those who work nearby said they know what they saw, and last week state inspectors showed up at the location after getting a complaint and found 40 violations.
There were shrimp being held at potentially hazardous temperatures, mold in ice machines and possible contamination issues as food wasn't properly separated.
Roaches were found in the kitchen near the cook line.
"(A) food prep worker killed (a) roach, then returned to food prep without washing hands," the inspector wrote in a report.
The owner denies he was dumpster diving and denies there was a problem at all.
"No, the people complain. I don't know," the owner said.
"The people complained because they saw roaches or something," Weinsier said.
"No, no, no, no, listen old people, they complain," the owner said. "Everything good."
China Buffet and Grill was allowed to reopen following an ordered cleanup and re-inspection.
Local 10 News contacted the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations about the video of the owner dumpster diving.