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Kitchen nightmare: Dirty Denny’s reopens after cleaning up its act

FERNDALE, Wash. — Do you ever wonder what the kitchen looks like in your favorite restaurant?

dirty dennysOne cook shot cell phone video of dirty floors and old food piled up at a local Denny’s and posted it to YouTube and now the health department is on the case.

A manager said the video was shot by a disgruntled employee who doesn’t work at Denny’s anymore. But customers said it’s the employees who are getting hurt since that YouTube video killed their business.

If you like to eat out, the video is hard to watch. An unidentified ex-employee at the Ferndale Denny’s posted the video online – highlighting a sickeningly dirty kitchen. From filthy floors to food-stained microwaves, the video posted in May has now gone viral.

“We’d classify it as gross,” said Tom Kunesh with the Whatcom County Health Department. Kunesh said his office started hearing from concerned diners last week.

Once the store’s management saw the video, they closed the place for a top to bottom deep-cleaning. On Tuesday, health inspectors made a surprise visit to the restaurant.

“We do want to follow up and make sure that they have a sound plan and that they’re following a plan for cleaning, repeated violations like this if they don’t get addressed can result in food contamination,” said Kunesh. ”It’s just not as likely as other violations.”

“I think it’s a bunch of crap, I don’t think he should have done it in the first place,” said customer Jackie Mills. “They’re losing business; they’re losing money, losing hours, losing time, and tips. That’s what I’m saying, tips are big!”

“Instead of actually confronting the situation by talking to the manager or even talking to somebody higher up in Denny’s, he chose to do it in social media,” said customer Heather Campbell. “Because of that, they’ve created a lot of problems for these poor people that work here. Their tip money is going to be down because people that have never been here will pass it by and that’s not fair.”

The restaurant has been on the health department’s radar for more than a year.

Denny’s corporate office sent a statement saying, “At Denny’s, we are dedicated to providing the highest quality experience for our guests, and that includes both the food we serve and the condition of our restaurants. We take any report that suggests otherwise very seriously and any kitchen in violation of local health standards is unacceptable, evaluated and corrected immediately. We dispatched resources to the Ferndale restaurant to work with the local health department to ensure food quality and safety at this location. The department has inspected and approved the condition of the Ferndale, WA restaurant and it is open for business.”

Lucky for Denny’s their fans are loyal, saying the video’s not going to keep you from coming back.

“We will continue to come to Denny’s and we have since the video came out,” said Campbell.

One of the employees said if you’ve got time to lean, you’ve got time to clean. The employee thinks the ex-cook should have pitched in and cleaned up the mess instead of posting it online.

7 comments

  • none

    I also was employed there and witness them get shutdown befor by the whatcom health department and then open back up for business just hours later that night without ever being reinspected along with several other ex employees as witnesses!!!

  • esco

    Might as well cook at home and know for sure what your eating. There's too much laziness and shortcuts at restaurants being taken now.

  • none

    The peron who did this did everything he could to help fix the situation befor giving up. He spent night after night cleaning on and OFF the clock thru all of his breaks only to be elled at by management the next morning. It wasn't until after a year of tryin and tryin and having Milton Barnes do everything to work against him that he gave up quit the restaurant and decided the public had a right to know!!!! befor you judge maybe you should read the statement on craigslist under ferndale public health hazards!!!!!

  • shawn

    The video was posted by. A. Douchebag that was mad cuz he didn’t get promoted. He would show up either drunk or high constantly. His name is Kyle his phone number is 3605100035. He pushed crap into the cracks as much as possible before shooting this video. And btw not a. Employee. But now my kids health and home are affected by this. Bastard

  • Brenda Fox

    This Kyle is a sad excuse of a man. God only knows why he’s done this. I will tell him one thing. Thank you. I have a relative that works there and really depends on the tips. Since his lies have hit the air waves, all the people coming to the restaurant to show their support has been a windfall. Your lies has help the store and it’s enployees pay the bills.

  • Del

    This doesn't seem to be a new problem for Denny's. Yet some would complain about lost wages and tips whilst turning a blind eye to the filth that the customers' food was prepared in. "Profits before Hygiene!" I hear them cry.

    Lucky for Denny's that a lot of Ferndale folks aren't exactly picky about where and what they'll eat.

    The video *clearly* shows the type of neglect that can only occur with the complicity of management. In my opinion, the fault squarely rests on the shoulders of the derelict bosses.

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