Former McDonald's employees speak out about what they're calling "unsanitary conditions"

NOW: Former McDonald’s employees speak out about what they’re calling “unsanitary conditions“

NILES, Mi. --- Two former employees from the McDonald’s on 11th street in Niles spoke out over what they called unsanitary conditions like piles of trash, grease build up, and even roaches inside of the fast-food restaurant, but the owner said the issues were addressed appropriately.

"It was like piles of trash in the back, they would leave from first shift, to second shift, to my shift which was third shift and then I’d be stuck throwing it all out, nobody was helping with that. I’m the only person cleaning out under the grills and changing the grease, it was pretty horrific," said former Niles McDonald’s employee Bruce Smith.

Bruce Smith and Destiny Martin are former employees at the McDonald’s in Niles on 11th street and both said they recently decided to quit their jobs, with the biggest reason being because of the unsanitary conditions.

“I’ve worked at literally I think every McDonald’s in Berrien County and working at this one was the worst McDonald’s ever,” said Destiny Martin who’s also a former McDonald’s employee at the Niles location and Smith’s girlfriend.

These videos that were taken inside of the McDonald’s by the couple show some of those conditions they said they addressed to management that included garbage piled up, grease build up on the floor and even bugs inside of the restaurant, some of which customers said they’ve even seen themselves.

“When I’ve went inside it’s been trash all the floors like it’s nasty, I haven’t seen personally any bugs but I’m not saying that it isn’t a possibility, I personally haven’t seen them but I can believe it,” said customer Katelyn Jaroch.

“We couldn’t really keep up with anything because it’s so bad. I’m not going to say I can take apart the whole machine but if there’s bugs in there I don’t know how to get them,” added Smith.

The local McDonald’s owner and operator responded to the claims and said:

The cleanliness and safety of my restaurants is a top priority for my organization and these photos do not accurately represent the standards we set for ourselves. The situations shown in these photos and videos were appropriately addressed and taken care of as they happened. We proactively contacted the health department who verified they did not find anything out of compliance.

- Jay Okayama, McDonald’s Owner Operator

While the Berrien County Health Department also added their response:

We received a complaint about sanitation conditions at the McDonald’s at 1203 S. 11th Street, Niles and sent an inspector to investigate. There was no evidence of roaches observed at the time of the site visit. The restaurant maintains an active contract with a pest control company.

- Guy Miller, acting health officer for Berrien County Health Department.

The health department encouraged community members to continue to reach out to them when issues do come up and complaints can be filed here.

McDonald’s also encouraged both customers and employees to do the same so they can address issues immediately.

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