Restaurant Inspection Redemption: Centerville McDonald’s

This week, we at People of Lancaster procrastinated to the last possible minute on our restaurant inspection redemption report. With lighthouse conventions keeping Abner out of town and Henry the intern at the helm, time just slipped away from us. As deadline approached, we reviewed the recent inspections one more time to find a place that was centrally-located, quick, and easy but could still potentially endanger our lives by giving us a parasite. What better description fits a McDonald’s?

McDonald’s No. 6076 was inspected on 4-20, so readers may want to take that into account in regards to their inspection. While the inspection reports that the manager does not have adequate knowledge and is not controlling food safety, they also may have just been high as shit. Their inspection report is quite lengthy, requiring four screenshots on a cell phone to capture all of the glory. Violations reported included employee items being left in food areas (food, drinks, a random jacket), food temperature issues, grease build-up throughout the area, black and brown slime in the fountain soda nozzles, pink slime on the ice machine, items stored improperly, and many others. Some of these are repeat violations from 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015. So clearly they DGAF about fixing these issues.

We decided to go to breakfast together at the Centerville McDonald’s to give our stomachs a jarring start to the day. The restaurant was surprisingly quiet and empty upon our arrival, though it did start to get busier as the morning progressed. Abner and Henry ordered the big breakfast platters while I ordered a breakfast sandwich meal. I ordered first and it took 2 seconds for my food to be handed to me, likely because it had been sitting out for a significant time just waiting for me. I know this because my food was cold. My bill, by the way, was $6.66. The devil is in the details…and my hash brown.

Most McDonald’s restaurants have had the interior remodeled to give off a café vibe in an effort to cover up the fact that it’s just a shitty fast food restaurant. We sat at a table and shuffled around trays since the tables are too small to actually fit the trays. Right away, we noticed how horrible the music was. They were streaming music designed just for their McCafe that featured mostly acoustic versions of songs and gave a shitty, indie, Lilith-fair vibe. Henry the intern noted that it would be soundtrack for which he would slit his wrists.

As I said, my food was cold because it had probably been made over an hour earlier. The cheese wasn’t even melted on it (see picture). I ate most of it, but did so begrudgingly. I went to get ketchup for my hash brown and there was a hair, string, or something else randomly hanging down from the ketchup dispenser. I used the other one. The tables were not cleaned during our hour plus tenure there, though the bright café lighting gave the illusion that they were clean.

The staff was very nice, especially the manager and young man on duty. They were perfectly polite to us as we were no-nonsense customers, but they were particularly accommodating when a difficult group of individuals followed us. This group demanded their child receive a toy and that it be a boy toy—this was very important, despite the fact that the boy had long hair and glittery shoes–we can’t go emasculating him via a toy now, can we?  Also, the fact that they demanded a toy during breakfast hours when toys are clearly reserved for happy meals at lunch time was ridiculous as well. One of them also complained about receiving ninety-six cents in change because she didn’t have four cents to give the cashier for her bill, but that’s kind of how currency works. They also wanted a substitution of some sort for their meal. The manager made sure to meet all of their demands, and did so with a smile. We give the staff extreme kudos for putting up with entitled and annoying individuals so effectively and efficiently. We would have ninja kicked their heads off.

Overall, we can’t really redeem the Centerville McDonald’s, nor can we give it a Star Buffet rating of DON’T EVER EAT HERE. This is simply because it’s a McDonald’s. The food isn’t really food, so you can’t exactly analyze it for taste. We look forward to the follow-up inspection report to see if the violations reported were corrected or if they just continue running their business however they want because, well, it’s McDonald’s. If they have repeat violations for the past five years and haven’t corrected them still, the board of health obviously does not plan to shut them down and force them to clean up. McDonald’s has forever been the last resort for many who are running late, have limited time, or just don’t feel like cooking. We’d recommend it continue being your absolute last resort.

For more information about our visit to the Centerville McDonald’s, tune in to this week’s POLcast.