FRANKLIN, Ind. – A Subway restaurant in Franklin, Indiana is receiving a lot of attention online after an employee allegedly “zapped” bugs in the sandwich-making area, and a customer caught the entire incident on video.
Justin Clemons posted the video to Facebook on Monday evening. He said he took his children out for dinner to the Subway located at 2120 East King Street after a golf match.
“So I sit down and start eating and my back is faced to (the employees) and I start hearing all the zapping sounds,” Clemons said. “I couldn’t figure out what it was until my 13 year old said, “I’m pretty sure they are zapping the bugs that are above it.'”
Clemons then turned around and witnessed what his son thought was happening, really was.
“The first reaction was I cannot believe this is actually happening,” he said. “My second one is if I don’t record this I don’t think anyone in their right mind will believe this is happening right now.”
So Clemons turned on his phone and started recording the incident.
“I was pretty much in shock and so were the kids,” Clemons said. ““It was directly over the food itself… Nothing was closed that I could see and he was just immediately taking the racket right over the food and zapping them.”
Johnson County Health Department officials received numerous calls and emails about the video after it went viral on Facebook.
They say the restaurant was inspected in July, and the restaurant has a good track record. They’ve only had one violation, and that was in December 2015 for improperly thawing soup.
The health department says they sent a health inspector to the store to tell employees not to zap bugs when food is exposed. They also said killing bugs would not fall under a critical violation unless they had an extensive bug problem. Instead, what the video shows is poor practice.
“We uniformly agreed this was a poor practice,” Johnson County Health Department Director of Environmental Health John Bonsett said. “Because the method of hitting the bugs in a food service area isn’t good, because we don’t know where they are going to land or what will happen to the bug parts.”
The health department did not require the Subway to close and the restaurant stayed open until around 1:40 p.m. Tuesday.
A Subway spokesman released the following statement Tuesday night:
Food safety is our top priority. All Subway restaurants are individually owned and operated. As soon as the restaurant owner was made aware of the situation, he immediately took action by closing his restaurant and discarding all open products. He has contracted a professional cleaning service to ensure that the restaurant is in top working order.
Subway also commented on the video Clemons posted to Facebook, apologizing for the incident.
“We truly regret you had this experience Justin, and we are looking into this right now,” the company wrote. “Food safety is our top priority, and we are working with the franchisee to address immediately. If you could send us a Private Facebook message with your contact information, we’d like to reach out to you personally, or if you prefer you can link here http://bit.ly/1XrM5lE for our Care Team. Thank you Justin.”