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Employees at roach-infested McDonald's accused of denying health inspector's request to see kitchen


McDonald's french fries sit under a heat lamp at a McDonald's restaurant on April 19, 2011, in San Francisco, California.


Justin Sullivan

What should you do if a government health inspector unexpectedly drops by your dirty restaurant? One McDonald's seemed to have a bold idea: make the inspector wait while you do some last-minute cleaning. Unfortunately, the plan backfired.

In May, a customer at a Tampa McDonald's said that a live roach fell from the ceiling and landed in his food, USA Today reported. The customer filed a complaint with the state. A state inspector then dropped by and asked to see the kitchen. But even after showing his government ID card, the McDonald's general manager refused to let him inspect the kitchen. After 20 minutes, he was finally allowed to look, "but some suspect the restaurant was stalling," USA Today said. 

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If the employees were cleaning during that 20-minute-wait, they appeared to miss a few spots. The inspector found seven critical violations and 21 violations total, WTSP reported. His more disturbing findings include 25 dead roaches near the service counter and five live roaches near the kitchen sink. The employees also managed to get food on the ceiling, which was "soiled" with "food debris," the report says. In addition, the report says that a mysterious "toxic item" was found near the utensils. 

In a statement, McDonald's insisted that there was nothing sketchy about the local manager's initial reluctance to let the inspector come in the kitchen.

"A recent health inspector's report referenced a situation that was the result of confusion between the inspector and McDonald's protocol," McDonald's said. "The restaurant staff followed procedure and received supervisor approval and the inspector was admitted to conduct his inspection."