Welcome to the breakfast flub.
A former hotel employee from Tennessee revolted social media users after divulging the disgusting reasons why guests should forgo eating breakfast at lower-tier hotels.
A revealing video of her culinary cautionary tale has topped 1.5 million views on TikTok.
“If your hotel serves, like, a hot continental breakfast or whatever — eggs, waffles, stuff like that — don’t eat that s–t,” said Brandi Augustus [photo], 36, who’s worked in the hospitality industry at the front desk and as a night auditor for a combined 15 years. The Knoxville resident started her career at high-end hotels but moved on to more budget-conscious accommodations, where she discovered that the food safety standards were less than stellar.
In the over 2-minute video PSA — titled “Don’t eat the free breakfast!” — Augustus explained how the night auditor who was training her taught her to use “one paper towel” all night to clean everything from tables to spatulas. His rationale: It was “environmentally friendly,” per the clip.
Of particular concern was the “handling of the raw bread/pastries,” the horrified ex-employee told Jam Press.
“Gloves weren’t used and hands weren’t washed — and this was food that was removed from the buffet the morning prior, so who knows how many sets of hands had touched it all,” she explained, adding that bread and pastries specifically “are often recycled and picked over for DAYS!”
Augustus also advocated steering clear of the meat at most places, as “sausage is not supposed to be gray.”
The crown jewel of contamination was apparently the waffle station, which workers not only didn’t always clean but where they also reused leftover batter until it started to “smell like beer,” per the clip.
“When I was told to smell the waffle batter to check if it was still good, I just lost all hope,” Augustus told Jam Press of one ill-fated training session. “That completely soured my stomach, as the batter had a slight smell to it but the container was a little over half full — so instead of wasting the old batter, I was told to just mix new batter into it and the smell would go away.
“That smell was bacteria multiplying.”
Unfortunately, when the disillusioned gal reported the problems to management, they brushed them off, claiming that “they passed health checks, so they couldn’t be doing too bad.”
And she never alerted health inspectors, as they “would never come during my shift.” The wary ex-clerk added that she “felt that if I did report it outside of work, then my job would somehow know.”
“Whistleblowers are never the tea,” she lamented.
Unfortunately, due to the lack of restaurant options during her shift, the then-single mother of two was forced to subsist on the breakfast, Jam Press reported. She mitigated the risk of tummy trouble by only eating what she made “fresh,” such as “new waffle mix or unopened pastries.”
In order to circumvent the myriad food safety issues, the Samaritan recommended sticking to accommodations that offer a “made-to-order breakfast.”
“The chances of getting food poisoning seem to decrease when you can see the person cooking your food, so always opt for the omelet station,” Augustus advised.
“I’m just trying to save y’all a headache,” the continental breakfast survivor claimed in the TikTok video.
Her PSA resonated with TikTok commenters, many of whom had their own horror stories from their days in the hotel sector.
“As a night auditor for a very popular hotel, she [is] telling the truth,” proclaimed one hotel worker. “Stick to the prepackaged foods.”
“I waited in hotels and you are CORRECT!!!!” added another.
Augustus isn’t the first industry insider to spill the beans on heinous food safety violations.
In October, a rogue Popeyes chicken supplier prompted the closure of a Washington, DC, outlet after posting alarming footage showing rats running amok in the kitchen.
Ben Cost, New York Post, December 7, 2021 - 11:56am