President Donald Trump loves gourmet food and his Mar-a-Lago beach resort. In fact, he has entertained a number of foreign dignitaries there, including Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese president Xi Jinping, and plied them with sumptuous cuisine, most notably “the most beautiful chocolate cake you have ever seen.”
So, it was quite a shock to discover that health inspectors found no less than 13 violations at the club’s kitchen on Jan. 26, according to Miami Herald — a disgrace for the resort that charges $200,000 just in initiation fees.
Inspectors found three violations deemed “high priority” because they could cause bacteria to be served with the meal. Fish “designed to be served raw or undercooked” had not undergone the process of parasite destruction.
Two of the kitchen coolers had malfunctioned and inspectors found chicken was stored at 49 degrees, ducks at 50 degrees, raw beef at 50 degrees and ham at a whopping 57 degrees.
The other violations were not as serious and included rusty shelves in a walk in cooler, cold water in the sink which prevented the kitchen staff from sanitizing their hands, a food preparer not wearing a hair net and an employee drinking from an open container in a food preparation area.
Despite that, state inspectors said the kitchen did meet the minimum standards.
All I know is, if I actually paid $200K to join Trump's Mar-A-Lago, I'd be pissed that a hotdog cart in NYC has better food safety practices— Donald Trump Toupee (@TrumpeeToupee) April 13, 2017
So, on behalf of the American people, #45 is feeding dangerous and unhealthy food to foreign heads of state being entertained at Mar A Lago? https://t.co/gLggp063o8— Deborah L Phillips (@dprnesq) April 13, 2017
"Trump's Mar-a-Lago" restaurant cited for 13 violations including meat and fish. Are visiting foreign leaders at risk for food poisoning?— Peace (@Peace2484) April 13, 2017
@LaszloBrovacs He could probably have killed that many with the food from Mar-a-Lago! Seriously, he's out of control.— Faye White (@fayejwhite) April 14, 2017
According to the report, many of the infractions were quickly corrected.
Mar-a-Lago staff told the inspector that one of the coolers was incorrectly set at defrost and sent for a technician to restore the correct temperature. As for the raw fish that had not undergone parasite destruction, it was “corrected on-site” by quickly cooking it or throwing it away.
The violations were discovered a few days before Trump hosted Abe at a meal on the club’s terrace. So, it seems the Japanese prime minister may have narrowly escaped a potential food-borne illness.
The beach resort service has seen its violations climb in recent years. In 2016, the club had 11 violations while in 2015 it had only two.
Bernd Lembcke, Mar-a-Lago’s managing director, has not yet issued a statement.