One of the nation’s largest food distributors, Sysco Corporation, was filmed by an NBC crew storing perishable food in unrefrigerated Bay Area outdoor storage lockers for hours before dropping them off at restaurants, hotels and schools.
That is something the health department takes a dim view of, as well as people who aren’t fond of food poisoning.
NBC Bay Area shot undercover video of Sysco employees dropping off raw meat, milk and other products which, by law, must be properly refrigerated. After viewing the video, the California Department of Public Health sent inspectors to 14 makeshift Sysco warehouses across Northern California looking for stored goods.
They found chicken, pork, bacon and vegetables among the products improperly stashed. According to NBC, Sysco admitted to inspectors that the company has conducted business this way for years, but promised to break its leases with the storage companies. And in an email to NBC, it promised to start doing what it already knew it should be doing.
“Our company policy states that Sysco-controlled drop-sites must be secure and equipped with refrigerator/freezer units. Sysco San Francisco has immediately ceased its practices in relation to these drop-sites and will review and implement the correct practices with its sales and delivery teams.”
Inspectors also found rat drippings and other unsanitary conditions in the storage sheds. The company will reportedly be charged with a misdemeanor for each transgression, and fined $1,000 per violation.
Texas-based Sysco ranked 65th on the Fortune 500 list of America’s largest corporations this year. It had $1.1 billion in profits and $42.4 billion in revenues. Sysco employs 45,000 workers and has 400,000 customers worldwide.
Sysco was in the news last September when it congratulated Florida employee Martin Cupid on his approval for a kidney transplant—and then fired him three days later. The father of three lost his $72,000-a-year-salary and his health insurance. He sued.