Why inspection results need to be on the door, not hidden in a database: Roaches in wrappers, ice cream machine at Sonic in Florida

I’d never heard of Sonic until I moved to Kansas.

I had a student who worked part-time at Sonic, and never wanted to eat there.

sonicTheir commercials are super-creepy, but I guess it appeals to college football fans.

Known for carhops delivering food (we called them A&Ws in Canada, I’m not sure what they were called on Happy Days) , Sonic Drive-Ins can be found across the country.

We eat the hotdogs and get the drinks during happy hour,” said Bruce Bennett visiting Florida with his wife, Janet, from Pennsylvania.

The couple had no idea the Spring Hill Sonic location was shut down by health inspectors just last week with 21 violations including an expired license. The inspector also reported finding live roaches in the dish area, by the fryer, under the soft serve ice cream machine and even in a box of wrappers for customers’ food.

“I wish I knew that before I got here today,” said Bennett after finishing his meal.

“It’s unhealthy,” said Janet Bennett. “I’m flabbergasted. I mean, I just can’t find words. It’s disgusting! It’s absolutely disgusting.”

We showed the full inspection report to the Bennetts’ and other customers. Along with all the roaches, customers seemed concerned to hear the location was ordered to throw out their ice after the inspector found the ice chute filled with mold.

“We just got slushies,” said Manual Ortega who had just ordered with two friends. “I wanna go over there and tell them we want a refund now. That’s gross.”  

The state did clear this location to reopen a day after their emergency closure, so 10Investigates stopped in checking to see if conditions were really cleaned up.

“I can’t say anything right now,” said an employee who identified himself as the Assistant Manager. “The person who is in charge is not here today.”

The employee told us he wasn’t authorized to allow our camera inside the kitchen so we asked if he could call his supervisors to ask for permission.

“Most of them are enjoying their days off and I don’t like to bug anyone on their days off. That’s why they have me here running the place,” the assistant manager said.