Still not as gross as actually eating at Mar-a-lago


Near the end of a long week like this, it's tempting to wish we could be like Donald Trump and just hop on Air Force One to take off for Mar-a-Lago and a weekend of relaxing golf and rage-Tweeting. But then we read this fine Miami Herald report on Palm Beach County health inspectors' latest visit to the resort's restaurant, and yecch, we sure are glad we get to stay home in Boise and have coffee and a bagel right here in our apartment. The inspection took place just before the state visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in late January, and the deets are not pretty:

Inspectors found 13 violations at the fancy club’s kitchen, according to recently published reports — a record for an institution that charges $200,000 in initiation fees.

Three of the violations were deemed “high priority,” meaning that they could allow the presence of illness-causing bacteria on plates served in the dining room.

Here's the part we don't get, although as Carl Hiaasen fans, we probably shouldn't be surprised: Despite the nasties the inspectors found, they nonetheless determined the kitchen met minimum standards and would not have to be shut down. So the place passed, even with all the grotty conditions. Guess Florida is a lot more lax than other places, maybe?

OK, detail time. You've been warned. If yucky grody food stuff is not your bag, please go read about something more cheerful, OK? Here's what inspectors found at the resort owned by the most powerful guy in what we used to call the Free World (costs have gone up):

▪ Fish designed to be served raw or undercooked, the inspection report reads, had not undergone proper parasite destruction. Kitchen staffers were ordered to cook the fish immediately or throw it out.

▪ In two of the club’s coolers, inspectors found that raw meats that should be stored at 41 degrees were much too warm and potentially dangerous: chicken was 49 degrees, duck clocked in at 50 degrees and raw beef was 50 degrees. The winner? Ham at 57 degrees.

▪ The club was cited for not maintaining the coolers in proper working order and was ordered to have them emptied immediately and repaired.

50-degree beef? Are they certain that wasn't just a really, really slow cooker?

Among less-serious violations, inspectors found water temperatures in kitchen sinks that weren't hot enough for ideal hand-washing, and rusty shelves in walk-in coolers. But no rat droppings, so there's that.

The Herald notes that when Donald Trump spent more time at the resort micromanaging things, Mar-a-lago had very few health violations, but that after he began running for president and wasn't around much, the health violations began rising. In 2015, the place had just two violations; in 2016, inspectors found 11.

And of course, none of the problems at Mar-a-lago could compete with the pure vileness of the health code violations which in 2012 shut down the steakhouse at the Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas. That would be a whopping 51 health code violations.

While ready-to-eat food can be stored for up to seven days, inspectors at DJT reported finding the old caviar and yogurt, duck that dated back to June, veal stock and tomato sauce that was almost two weeks old, and expired peanut dressing and black bean chili.

Inspectors found no measures to destroy parasites in undercooked halibut and salmon, and noted that raw tuna was being improperly thawed. Icicles were found in a faulty freezer.

On reinspection, Trump's Vegas steakhouse managed a grade of "A" and was allowed to reopen.

So there's maybe some insight into why Trump ruins his steak by ordering it well-done. He has no reason to trust his own kitchens. Yecch.

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[Miami Herald]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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