It might cost a whopping $200,000 just in initiation fees to get into Donald Trump’s private Palm Beach, Florida club Mar-a-Lago—but don’t assume the quality of the food matches the price.
State food-safety inspectors visited the club for a routine check in January and found reasons to issue 13 violations. Some of the more troubling violations cited potentially dangerous raw fish and broken-down coolers for storing raw meats, according to the Miami Herald.
“Bacteria multiply quickly when the temperature of food is between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit (4 and 60 degrees Celsius),” according to the US Department of Health and Human Services.
So just how bad was the situation at Mar-a-Lago? Bad. Here’s what inspectors found:
- Chicken being stored at 49 degrees Fahrenheit (9.4 degrees Celsius).
- Duck and raw beef at 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius).
- Ham at 57 degrees Fahrenheit (13.8 degrees Celsius).
- Fish, slated to be served raw or undercooked, not put through a proper process to remove parasites.
That should give any club-goer pause, as meat stored improperly could become a breeding playground for a parade of pernicious, illness-causing bacteria such as Salmonella, Campylobacter, Shigella, E. coli, Listeria, Vibrio, and Clostridium botulinum.
Inspectors ordered the club to clear out and clean its coolers and start maintaining them properly.
This isn’t the first time Trump has run into a bit of a mess on food issues. While he was on the campaign trail, he briefly made a vow to dismantle America’s federal food-safety and inspection service (it was deleted after being roundly mocked). Health advocates say that Trump’s proposed budget would gut important services from the Food and Drug Administration that ensure food safety.
And earlier this week, the president caught criticism for an embarrassing flub he made during an interview with the Fox Business network. While crowing about the “most beautiful” slice of chocolate cake he ate during a meal with Chinese president Xi Jinping, the US president mentioned striking American ally Iraq with 59 Tomahawk missiles. It was a misspeak. He had actually struck Syria.