13 Health Code Violations In Mar-A-Lago Kitchen Puts Even Heads Of State At Risk

Shortly before Donald Trump hosted the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, at his Mar-A-Lago resort, the kitchen of the luxury vacation spot was found to have 13 health code violations. Some of the health code issues, reported on Thursday by the Miami Herald, were potentially life-threatening.

Possibly the worst violation found by state inspectors was the fact that fish meant to be served either raw or undercooked had not been subject to proper parasite destruction. Oh, yum! Sushi with little wigglies in it. The kitchen was ordered to either cook it or throw it out, immediately.

If that’s not enough to put you off your appetite, take a look at how the rest of the resort’s animal protein was dealt with. Here’s a list of the state of the kitchen’s raw meat — which the health code requires to be kept at no more than 41 degrees Fahrenheit:

  • chicken, 49 degrees
  • duck, 50 degrees
  • beef, 50 degrees
  • ham, 57 degrees

Not surprisingly, a citation was issued for coolers that weren’t functioning properly. The verdict was that they had to be emptied and repaired — immediately. What is surprising is that members of this private club pay a $200,000 initiation fee to be exposed to dangerous health conditions.

The health code inspectors decided that the kitchen met minimum standards on that day, January 26th — probably because of all those ‘immediate’ remedies, and was allowed to stay open. That’s why Prime Minister Abe was able to dine there over the weekend of February 12th, followed by China’s President Xi Jinping last weekend.

Lesser folk may be wise to the place’s shortcomings, however. A look at Yelp shows that, out of 13 reviews, the resort got an average of a 2-star rating. You can’t read the reviews, except for the paid ones, because Yelp is ‘monitoring’ the business due to media reports. Hmm.

But, back to the other health code violations: the water where kitchen staff wash up wasn’t warm enough to sanitize their hands and the shelves in those coolers were rusted. The Miami Herald listed only these additional two out of the 13 — presumably because the remaining eight are more minor. Mar-A-Lago may have passed the inspection, but it hasn’t risen above the yuck factor.

The Herald also reported that Trump used to have a hands-on attitude toward what went on in the kitchen, saying:

It wasn’t rare to see him check out the kitchen and give directions to the club’s floor personnel.

However, the number of violations dramatically increased when Trump entered the race for president. In 2015, Mar-A-Lago had only 2 violations. In 2016, the number jumped to 11 and, of course, in 2017, it’s up to 13.

If the trend shows any parallel to how Trump is overseeing the country, the next state dinner with the Japanese prime minister could well see the American chief-of-state throwing up on his plate.

Feature photo, Mar-A-Lago dining, from Mar-A-Lago page on Facebook.

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Deborah Montesano

Deborah Montesano is a longtime political activist and blogger. She learned to fight against impossible odds by living for years in Arizona, but recently relocated to the more progressive-friendly city of Portland, Oregon. Find her on Facebook at facebook.com/thepoliticali/ or on Twitter @thepoliticali_1.

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