Florida restaurant inspectors found numerous violations in the kitchen at President Trump’s private club, Mar-a-Lago.
Inspectors from the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation cited more than a dozen violations in reports from a Jan. 26 inspection at Trump’s “winter White House” in Palm Beach, the Miami Herald first reported. The violations included several that were categorized as high priority, which “could contribute directly to a foodborne illness or injury,” according to the agency.
In two kitchen coolers, the inspectors found that meats were not being stored at the proper temperature and that fish served raw or undercooked had not “undergone proper parasite destruction,” according to the reports.
Inspectors also cited the club for reach-in and walk-in coolers that were not properly maintained, no hot water or hand-drying device at an employee sink and more basic violations, such as employees who were not wearing hairnets while preparing food for customers.
“These infractions were part of a routine inspection and were not complaint-based,” Stephen Lawson, communications director for the Department of Business & Professional Regulation, said in a statement.
“The infractions were corrected on site,” he added, “and the establishment was immediately brought into compliance.”
The general manager at Mar-a-Lago could not immediately be reached for comment.
In the past, Trump has revealed his affinity for cleanliness.
As The Washington Post’s Tom Sietsema reported, food safety is a top priority for Trump.
“Trump, a reluctant hand-shaker who has been known to chew out double-dippers at parties, told CNN that the fast-food chains’ cleanliness is part of their appeal,” Sietsema wrote. ” ‘One bad hamburger, and you can destroy McDonald’s,’ said Trump, ever the businessman with an eye on the bottom line.”
The Miami Herald reported that the state inspection came just days before Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the club. Most recently, Trump hosted Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Nearly every weekend since his inauguration, Trump has spent time at one of his properties — namely, Mar-a-Lago. It is a members-only facility, “with those who pay the steep initiation fee suddenly gaining occasional proximity to the president and, at times, his Cabinet and senior staff,” The Post’s Philip Bump wrote.
The trips have called into question the cost — which could amount to millions of dollars — of protecting the president.
Adm. Paul Zukunft, the U.S. Coast Guard commandant, said Wednesday that the Coast Guard has not received extra funds to cover Trump’s protection during his frequent trips to Mar-a-Lago, The Post reported. During these visits, the Coast Guard dispatches helicopters, patrol boats and anti-terrorism teams for round-the-clock patrols, Zukunft told reporters.
Zukunft said officials were trying to come up with a figure to present to Congress but that, at the moment, the service was working within existing funding constraints.
This post has been updated.