HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Viral video of a rodent running around a South Florida restaurant kitchen was posted by a former employee.
He told Local 10 News’ Jeff Weinsier that he recorded it because his bosses refused to address the situation.
The video was taken at the Burger King at 1030 West Hallandale Beach Boulevard by Troy Smith, who worked there until recently.
“I told the boss lady a rat, everyone started screaming, going crazy,” Smith said. “I said, ‘We can’t work around this,’ and she said, ‘As long as we are getting paid, we don’t care about the rats.’”
Smith claims he was fired when he threatened to talk to Local 10 News about the rodent problem and post the video on social media. He also claims they haven’t paid him for the hours he’s worked.
“I’ve seen about four rats,” he said. “That rat (in the video) was the smallest rat in there. The other rats are like six inches log.”
Local 10 News sent Smith’s video to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation and an inspector showed up unannounced on Tuesday and ordered the restaurant shut.
According to the inspection, a dead rodent was found inside. There were also rodent droppings, roaches, a fly issue in the kitchen and no proof of required state training for employees.
Smith said he was not surprised.
When Weinsier went to the restaurant to ask about the violations, a manager threw him out and then headed out a back door.
She started running away when questioned by Weinsier outside.
A morning manager told Weinsier to “go find real news” when asked what she had to say to her customers.
“She gave me a call yesterday and told me to take the video off Facebook, that that this will turn around and bite me in the ass,” Smith said of the morning manager.
Asked why he was speaking to Local 10 News about the issue, Smith said, “To help the community.”
Management at the restaurant actually called the police on the Local 10 News crew, and three Hallandale Beach police vehicles quickly arrived, and then left since the crew wasn’t on restaurant property.
The location is a franchise and, according to state records, is owned and operated by Seven Restaurants LLC.
Local 10 News left several messages for its CEO.
In a statement to Local 10 News, Burger King corporate said, “We have been made aware of the reports associated with this location and are working quickly with the franchisee to better understand the situation.
“These findings do not reflect the very high health and safety standards we and our franchisees collectively share to provide Team Members and Guests with a clean, safe and welcoming environment.”
The Burger King location was allowed to reopen following an ordered cleanup and re-inspection.