POLITICS
06/26/2018 12:43 am ET

Donald Trump Really Shouldn't Call Someone Else's Restaurant 'Dirty'

Eateries at the president's properties have racked up a hefty list of health code violations.

Donald Trump bashed the Virginia restaurant that booted White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders by calling it “dirty.” That probably wasn’t the most credible tactic, given the startling number of health code violations amassed by his own restaurants.

The Red Hen bounced Sanders out last Friday after the owner told the press secretary that the business had to uphold standards of “honesty and compassion.” 

A retaliatory tweet from Trump on Monday commented on the restaurant’s “filthy” exterior, adding: “If a restaurant is dirty on the outside, it is dirty on the inside.”

It’s debatable that the restaurant looks at all dirty on the outside. As for the inside, health officials found absolutely no problems at the eatery in two of four inspections of the Red Hen since 2014, including this year. Last year the sole violation included storing pickles in the wrong kind of jars. Its sole “critical” violations were found four years ago: improper storage of meat and failure to mark certain prepared food with an expiration date. All violations were corrected.

The record for the president’s various restaurants is far worse. His establishments have racked up scores of violations, including for several critical issues such as fly and cockroach infestations, food stored at improper temperatures and dirty conditions. The Trump Cafe and Grill, and Trump Bar, both in Trump Tower in Manhattan, and restaurants at Mar-a-Lago in Florida and the Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point in the Bronx have all tallied several violations.

In April, inspectors dinged Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., on nine food health issues. It was written up for unsanitary food-contact surfaces, improper food holding temperatures and improper storage to prevent cross-contamination, among other problems. 

In 2015, Trump Cafe and Grill was cited for nine health violations. Six were deemed critical and included dirty food-contact surfaces, dirty wiping cloths and cold food stored at an improper temperature. The following year it was cited for five violations — three critical, including roach infestation. It was cited for four critical violations last year and for three so far this year.

Trump’s restaurant at Mar-a-Lago was cited for 13 health violations last year, including for undercooked fish and hot raw meat, just days before Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had dinner there. The restaurant chalked up a combined 78 health code violations in just three years.

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