Rimbey councillor and co-owner at the centre of food safety violations

Video obtained by CBC showed improper handling of food in burger joint earlier this year

The co-owner of Gasoline Alley’s Carl’s Jr., which violated food safety regulations, assures that all problems have been corrected.

Ed Parkins said Wednesday said the franchise he has operated with Jack Webb since February 2016 has passed all inspections, by provincial inspectors and Carl’s Jr.’s own inspectors, since the violations came to light a few months ago.

Webb is a second-term councillor in Rimbey.

A video obtained by CBC and released Wednesday, from a former Carl’s employee, shows Webb stirring a large container of sauce with his bare arm plunged in almost to his elbow a few months ago.

Other footage shows other health violations, such as a chicken tender being placed back on a plate after being dropped on the floor.

“It was something that should not have happened,” said Parkins. “We know that.

“I feel very bad about it.”

Parkins said the sauce stirred by hand never made it into any customer’s food. A manager threw it out.

He referred further questions to Carl’s Jr. Canada, which responded with a statement.

The company said it became aware of Webb’s improper handling of food in April.

“It is unacceptable and in no way, represents Carl’s Jr.’s commitment to safe food handling,” says the company, which says immediate “corrective action” was taken.

“The restaurant has since had an independent, third-party food safety audit resulting in a rating that exceeded standards.

“The individual involved also took an additional food safety course and passed the Alberta Health Services course with a score of 96 per cent.

“Finally, Alberta Health Services recently inspected the restaurant in August and found all standards to be in compliance.”

Alberta Health Services said it received the video showing violations in February and March of Alberta’s Food Regulation in April and “immediately opened an investigation, taking action to address the risks to health shown in the video.”

The investigation determined that Webb did not have the government-required food safety training. On Aug. 9, an order was issued requiring Webb to stop handling food until he had taken the food safety course and demonstrated “both knowledge and appreciation for the importance of safe food handling to the satisfaction of Alberta Health Services …”

Those conditions have been met and a notice of compliance was to be delivered on Wednesday. The province continues to check on the restaurant “following an enhanced inspection schedule to ensure continued food safety.”

Inspectors had not found any violations or concerns during inspections at the Carl’s Jr. location prior to the video surfacing, says Alberta Health Services.

pcowley@reddeeradvocate.com

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