As the host of Food Network show "Health Inspectors," restaurant consultant Ben Vaughn has seen lots of crazily disgusting things in a restaurant. But on a recent visit to historic barbecue restaurant Pig-N-Whistle in Millington, Tenn., he found himself in something more akin to a Samuel L. Jackson movie than a routine restaurant inspection.
As you can see in the clip embedded above, Vaughn first found gaping holes along in the walls at floor level. He noted that these needed to be closed up, because they could potentially allow egress to unwanted pests. He was proven right mere minutes later, when he spotted a garden snake writhing around in the corner of the restaurant. It seemed to have been living inside long enough to shed a layer of skin, as an intact snake skin sat eerily next to the live snake.
"This is something that closes a restaurant," Vaughn told the restaurant's owner. "These critters carry salmonella, bacteria... it's awful. This is out of control."
Vaughn's goal in each episode is to help the restaurant in question improve its food safety systems so that it will be able to pass its next inspection and serve food that's safe to eat. You'll have to watch the Pig-N-Whistle episode of "Health Inspectors" (air date TBA) to find out whether or not he succeeded in this reptilian case.
For the record, it's not clear that anyone would necessarily have caught the infestation had Vaughn not paid the restaurant a visit. The last state health inspection at the Millington Pig-N-Whistle listed on the Tennessee Department of Health website is dated June 28, 2010. At that time, the restaurant scored 99 out of 100 possible points.