Domino’s Corporate Headquarters is speaking out for the first time since a photo went viral on the website Reddit. The person who posted the photo claims to be an employee at the Domino’s on Boones Creek Road in Johnson City. They said it is a picture of uncooked pizza dough covered in rodent droppings.
News Channel 11 discovered the problem, not being compliant with insects, animals, and rodents being present, dates back to at least 2015. It’s unclear if it’s the same issue, where droppings were found throughout the restaurant, but it is listed as the same violation on the inspection reports.
Customers are still in shock after learning the Tennessee Department of Health found rodent droppings on uncooked pizza dough, among other places in the restaurant.
“We ate that pizza like a week ago. That’s surprising to understand that they could find that and sell us that pizza,” said customer Jeff Bowman.
Investigators made a surprise visit to the restaurant on Wednesday after someone claiming to be an employee posted a picture on the website Reddit.
They gave the store a score of 86 out of 100.
The total point value of all violations is added up, then subtracted from 100 to obtain the score.
According to the report: five points were deducted because the restaurant was not in compliance with “food in good condition, safe, and unaltered.”
Two points were deducted for not being in compliance with “insects, rodents, and animals not present”.
One for contamination and one for utensils not being properly stored.
There were also several other violations totaling 14 points.
News Channel 11 reached out to Domino’s Corporate Headquarters. Spokesman Tim McIntyre said, “As you might expect, nothing is more important to us than food safety and quality. This was an extremely isolated incident, confined to a single store, and it’s been puzzling. The store has passed all previous health inspections with scores over 90%; it’s on a routine, monthly pest control cycle (it had been treated on Monday, in fact, before the photo was posted) and reports were that there were no indications of pests; after the health department visit yesterday, the affected trays were removed; all others were inspected and new ones were delivered. The health department then cleared the store to open. The store is clean, open and back in business.”
According to the Department of Health’s website, the restaurant scored an 88 on February 5. Among the violations: insects, animals and rodents.
That same violation appeared on the April 2017 report and the September 2015 report.
Neighboring businesses said they haven’t had any rodent problems but said, “we’ve ordered pizza’s and stuff from there before but it kind of makes you wonder if you should do that anymore,” said Bill Hedges.
News Channel 11 reached out to the franchise owner and the exterminator. We have not heard back.
The Department of Health said environmental staff visited the restaurant again Thursday to verify ongoing corrections.
The department said they can shut down restaurants if a health hazard is imminent.
In this case, we were told because corrective actions were made during the inspection that no health hazard was declared.
The health department said any food that was visibly contaminated and any that could have been contaminated was destroyed.
You can find the health inspections here: