An employee at a Subway restaurant making sandwiches without wearing shoes is just one example of strange things found in San Antonio restaurants, according to the health department.
In the Subway incident, customer Mariah Osborn shot photos with her cell phone of the employee and said she observed him making sandwiches while barefoot, with no uniform and questionable hygiene.
"He was not washing his hands,” Osborn said. “He would sweep and then go back to make someone's sandwich. I know that customer service has definitely become pretty lax nowadays but it shouldn't be that lax."
She snapped photos thinking it was a prank, but then realized it wasn't.
"At first, I thought it was kind of weird,” Osborn said. “And then I started thinking, 'Oh my God, he's touching my food and he's itching his feet.' If he's not here in uniform and he's not wearing shoes think about the stuff that's going on that we can't see."
The KSAT 12 Defenders went to the Subway restaurant in question to get a response.
Workers were helpful and provided the phone number of the owner. The owner would not speak for the record, but agreed the employee made a bad decision. He said the employee was terminated and the customer received an apology.
The owner also said, however, that the customer taunted the employee.
Stephen Barscewski, of Metro Health, said the employee did break the rules.
"You've got to wear proper foot coverings as well as clean clothing," Barscewski said. “Shoes, hand washing, proper hair restraint.”
But Barscewski said health department sanitarians have seen stranger things in San Antonio restaurants.
"Probably one of the weirdest would be live duck and turtle in the basement of an establishment here in town," Barscewski said. “(It) runs from live rodents traipsing around to dead ones and certainly a lot of insects.”
He said sanitarians found an 18-month-old baby bathing in the mop sink in the kitchen of a Mexican restaurant.
They also found a toilet installed next to a three-compartment sink at a convenience store.
Martha Jordan, of Subway Development of South Central Texas, sent in this response via email:
“Our franchisees have strict policies demanding appropriate conduct of their employees. As soon as the issue was brought to their attention, the claims were investigated and the employee is no longer working at the restaurant.”