TARGET 8: Former convenience store employee complains of cockroaches

5 months 2 weeks 19 hours 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 on 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
SWEET SPRINGS - As temperatures rise in Central Missouri, so do fishermen's aspirations of landing their trophy catch. Missouri's lakes... More >>
36 minutes ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 6:49:00 PM CDT April 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - "Organic" and "non-GMO"—these food labels adorn all kinds of products, from breakfast cereal to snack food. And according... More >>
2 hours ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 5:20:00 PM CDT April 25, 2018 in News
BELLERIVE (AP) — The University of Missouri-St. Louis is considering eliminating some degree programs amid financial trouble. A committee... More >>
2 hours ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 5:17:00 PM CDT April 25, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Missouri State University and its food supplier are investigating to determine how a small mouse was found... More >>
3 hours ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 3:50:00 PM CDT April 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – A study out this week finds high stress levels among elementary teachers affect student behavior and performance. ... More >>
3 hours ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 3:38:00 PM CDT April 25, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - More than 100 immigrants gathered to become American citizens at the naturalization ceremony Wednesday afternoon. "It's... More >>
3 hours ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 3:29:00 PM CDT April 25, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Legal experts say Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens was not entitled to use a donor list... More >>
4 hours ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 3:11:56 PM CDT April 25, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - The head of an MU Latino student group said Wednesday a court ruling to protect the Deferred Action... More >>
4 hours ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 3:06:00 PM CDT April 25, 2018 in News
OSAGE BEACH - Hundreds celebrated the life of Miller County sheriff's deputy Casey Shoemate Wednesday morning. Shoemate died Friday... More >>
4 hours ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 2:49:00 PM CDT April 25, 2018 in Top Stories
ST. CHARLES (AP) — In a brief and subdued speech to hundreds of St. Louis area police officers, Missouri Gov.... More >>
4 hours ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 2:41:00 PM CDT April 25, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Union teachers are urging lawmakers to vote against a bill that would change how unions use dues... More >>
4 hours ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 2:28:00 PM CDT April 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA — One out of every three Missouri families is now affected by the opioid crisis. This fact drove the... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 1:50:00 PM CDT April 25, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The five-year battle between Jefferson City YMCA and the city of Holts Summit intensified this week when... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 1:37:00 PM CDT April 25, 2018 in News
MONROE CITY (AP) — A mother and daughter are recovering after narrowly escaping their burning home with the help of... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 1:27:18 PM CDT April 25, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Kansas City Power & Light is warning customers it is seeing a dramatic increase in... More >>
7 hours ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 11:38:54 AM CDT April 25, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Mid-Missourians have mixed feelings about distracted driving, according to a Town Square survey by KOMU 8 News. ... More >>
7 hours ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 11:31:00 AM CDT April 25, 2018 in News
UNION (AP) — An inmate has escaped from an eastern Missouri jail where he worked in the kitchen. The... More >>
9 hours ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 10:08:00 AM CDT April 25, 2018 in News
MOBERLY - A Moberly man who was not arrested until two years after investigators first got reports he was sexually... More >>
9 hours ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 10:05:00 AM CDT April 25, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 52°
8pm 58°
9pm 57°
10pm 55°
11pm 53°