MAYFIELD, Ohio - The Cuyahoga County Board of Health paid a visit to the Burger King on Mayfield Road in Mayfield Heights on Tuesday after a photo surfaced online showing an employee standing, while wearing shoes, in food storage containers of shredded lettuce.
According to a standard inspection report filed on July 17, the CCBH received notice of the photo and immediately began an investigation.
The report states that management at the restaurant received numerous complaints once the image surfaced.
The photo, originally posted on the image-based internet forum 4chan.org, led to Burger King's corporate offices terminating the employment of the individual responsible.
According to the CCBH's report, the photo was time-stamped for the evening of Friday July 13, 2012.
The report states; "If the prep procedure was followed properly, the lettuce that the employee was standing in, would have been used on Saturday. The manager on Saturday AM noticed that there were several containers of lettuce that looked as though someone had rubbed it across the floor."
The report adds; "[The manager] stated that she immediately discarded the product, and checked all other lettuce."
Burger King's Manager of Global Communications, Denise Wilson, sent Fox 8 News the following statement on Tuesday afternoon;
"Burger King Corp. has recently been made aware of a photo posted on a social networking site that allegedly shows a BURGER KING® restaurant employee violating the company's stringent food handling procedures. Food safety is a top priority at all BURGER KING® restaurants and the company maintains a zero-tolerance policy against any violations such as the one in question.
The restaurant where this photo was allegedly taken is independently-owned and operated by a BURGER KING® franchisee. The franchisee has taken swift action to investigate this matter and terminated the employee involved in this incident."
The employee who posted the photo added a comment associated with the picture on the internet bulletin board. The comment read; "This is the lettuce you eat at Burger King."
According to a HyperVocal.com report, 4chan user became disgusted by the photo and began using the image's geo-tagging to find out where the employee was tainting the food.
4chan users tagged the photo back to Mayfield, Ohio.
Comment left by 4chan users under the photo indicated that the anonymous employee would not remain so for long.
One of the comments read; "Also giving the local news stations a quick email, we'll see where this goes."
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The man who famously put down his Big Mac to help rescue three women held captive for a decade in an Ohio house will never have to pay for another burger in his hometown.