TARGET 8: Former convenience store employee complains of cockroaches

1 week 4 days 55 minutes ago Thursday, November 09 2017 Nov 9, 2017 Thursday, November 09, 2017 6:11:00 PM CST November 09, 2017 in Target 8
By: Zara McDowell, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - Casey's General Store on Clark Lane is receiving criticism on Facebook after a former employee's post went viral.

Keri Lawson, a former Casey's General Store employee, said in her Facebook post: "I worked here for MAYBE 2 months... On the third week, I started complaining about the **COCKROACHES** and various work conditions."

KOMU 8 News investigated that complaint, obtaining inspection records from the county. 

The health inspections from the Boone County Health Department showed that Casey's on Clark Lane received two complaints about the store in the past week. One on November 3 and another on November 8. The health department sent a health inspector each time it received a complaint.

Kala Wekenborg-Tomka, the Boone County Health Department's Environmental Public Health Supervisor, said it treats every complaint the same as a routine inspection and said, "We respond to every complaint we receive." 

On November 3, a health inspector found one critical violation and two non-critical violations during an inspection. The health inspection stated: "Food debris and dead pests in hand sink near fryer, food debris on floor and in floor of WIC [walk-in cooler], an attractant of pests, and dead pests on ceiling, floor, and hand sink near fryer."

"They would crawl at my feet while I'm working, so I was constantly watching where I was touching," Lawson told KOMU 8 News during an interview.

Prior to Friday's inspection, the last inspection was on February 8, 2017. Since January 15, 2015, Casey's on Clark Lane has received seven critical violations and 10 non-critical violations. 

On October 5, 2015 Casey's had a critical violation for "Unapproved pest spray in kitchen."

KOMU 8 News called Casey's General Store. An employee and manager said, "no comment."

Wekenborg-Tomka said the store or restaurant does not know ahead of time when the health department is coming for a routine inspection.

"We've received complaints about any type of food establishment. I wouldn't say it's unique to Casey's, and we respond to them all the same," Wekenborg-Tomka said.

Lawson said the cockroaches got progressively worse as she was working. "There's a cooler lid where your pizza condiments are, and there's a little opening and one came up right out from there."

Lawson said she was asked to put Borax in the cooler vents and bug spray on the baseboards. Lawson showed KOMU 8 a note she said a manager gave her: "Keri, When  you close the kitchen tonight underneath the white cabinet is some bug spray, will you spray behind everything and open that vent on the prep table and put Borax in there. Ask the clean to close person to spray underneath the cabinets, not while customer are here though... Thank you XXXXX I appreciate you."

"We are here to be great educators as regulators. So if you see something, you're part of our eyes and ears of our community and we encourage you to report that to us," Wekenborg-Tomka said.

Wekenborg-Tomka said it takes "8 critical violations, 16 non-critical violations, or a combination of 20 violations" during one visit to close a store like Casey's.

"Our goal is not to close food establishments, it's to ensure that they understand why something is a violation and get them into compliance. So our last resort is closure, if education does not work," Wekenborg-Tomka said.

"They're definitely not a pet you want to keep around. It makes my skin crawl, and I couldn't do it anymore, I couldn't work there anymore," Lawson said.

Lawson said she was hired at Casey's at September 6 and trained at the store on El Chapparel, "that one is very clean."

KOMU 8 News pulled inspection reports from all Casey's stores in Boone County. All had violations, but those on Clark Lane were the most disturbing. Other stores had reports of "Employee eating trail-mix in kitchen, food stored on floor in walk in freezer, AND pizza boxes directly sitting on floor.

Lawson said managers kept telling her it wouldn't be like this after the re-model in January.

"I do hope that they address it, and I hope that their re-model fixes it. But I don't think it's just a sweep under the rug," Lawson said.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - The city council will meet Monday night to talk about whether or not to change the city's current... More >>
54 minutes ago Monday, November 20 2017 Nov 20, 2017 Monday, November 20, 2017 6:12:00 PM CST November 20, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The state of Missouri has announced an increase to the state's minimum wage Monday. Businesses will... More >>
1 hour ago Monday, November 20 2017 Nov 20, 2017 Monday, November 20, 2017 6:01:00 PM CST November 20, 2017 in News
FULTON - Police arrested a woman after she allegedly attempted to steal a car from a shop, then broke into... More >>
3 hours ago Monday, November 20 2017 Nov 20, 2017 Monday, November 20, 2017 3:23:00 PM CST November 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Jack and Katie Hanney know probably better than anyone else that life can throw curve-balls when least expected.... More >>
4 hours ago Monday, November 20 2017 Nov 20, 2017 Monday, November 20, 2017 3:03:00 PM CST November 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Mayors from across Missouri met in Columbia Monday to discuss a variety of policies they say are negatively... More >>
4 hours ago Monday, November 20 2017 Nov 20, 2017 Monday, November 20, 2017 2:13:00 PM CST November 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - As videos surface of package thieves targeting many neighborhoods, residents are talking about the need for security cameras.... More >>
4 hours ago Monday, November 20 2017 Nov 20, 2017 Monday, November 20, 2017 2:11:00 PM CST November 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The owner of the Broadway Hotel still plans to request a TIF from City Council for a $20... More >>
5 hours ago Monday, November 20 2017 Nov 20, 2017 Monday, November 20, 2017 2:00:00 PM CST November 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Prosecutors charged an inmate at the Boone County Jail with damaging the facility after he allegedly flushed his... More >>
5 hours ago Monday, November 20 2017 Nov 20, 2017 Monday, November 20, 2017 1:53:33 PM CST November 20, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A federal investigation will look into possible civil rights violations by police in the St.... More >>
5 hours ago Monday, November 20 2017 Nov 20, 2017 Monday, November 20, 2017 1:44:00 PM CST November 20, 2017 in News
FAYETTE - The special prosecutor in the case against a woman accused of bullying a teenager has filed more charges,... More >>
6 hours ago Monday, November 20 2017 Nov 20, 2017 Monday, November 20, 2017 1:06:00 PM CST November 20, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - With the holiday season upon us, more people will be traveling, and Columbia Regional Airport announced another way... More >>
6 hours ago Monday, November 20 2017 Nov 20, 2017 Monday, November 20, 2017 12:51:00 PM CST November 20, 2017 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — The governor of Missouri has appointed 16 people to help review child abuse cases after the state... More >>
6 hours ago Monday, November 20 2017 Nov 20, 2017 Monday, November 20, 2017 12:35:38 PM CST November 20, 2017 in News
POTOSI (AP) — An eastern Missouri police officer has died following an off-duty accident. The Daily Journal newspaper in... More >>
7 hours ago Monday, November 20 2017 Nov 20, 2017 Monday, November 20, 2017 11:22:00 AM CST November 20, 2017 in News
MOBERLY - Authorities are investigating a possible explosion that led to a structure fire in Moberly Sunday night. The... More >>
8 hours ago Monday, November 20 2017 Nov 20, 2017 Monday, November 20, 2017 10:25:00 AM CST November 20, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Federal authorities are working to seize more than $491,000 of suspected drug money found during... More >>
11 hours ago Monday, November 20 2017 Nov 20, 2017 Monday, November 20, 2017 7:47:11 AM CST November 20, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Officers located shell casings and vehicles damaged by gunfire Sunday evening, Jefferson City police said in a... More >>
20 hours ago Sunday, November 19 2017 Nov 19, 2017 Sunday, November 19, 2017 10:34:00 PM CST November 19, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Videos surfacing from two Columbia neighborhoods show individuals stealing packages from doorsteps. A video from a neighbor... More >>
21 hours ago Sunday, November 19 2017 Nov 19, 2017 Sunday, November 19, 2017 10:00:00 PM CST November 19, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The 38th annual holiday parade kicked off with sirens as police cars took the lead. The parade... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, November 19 2017 Nov 19, 2017 Sunday, November 19, 2017 6:09:00 PM CST November 19, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 49°
8pm 53°
9pm 52°
10pm 50°
11pm 49°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

7:00p
The Voice
9:01p
The Brave
10:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 10
7:00p
Supergirl
8:00p
Valor
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Voice
9:01p
The Brave
7:00p
Supergirl
8:00p
Valor
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld