A reporter from Miami-based news station WPLG defended his restaurant sanitation investigative segment against accusations of racism made by a restaurant owner in its latest episode.
Jeff Weinsier, the investigative reporter behind “Dirty Dining,” called the claim that his segment targets Asian restaurants “outrageous,” noting that the establishments selected to be featured on the show were based on the state’s inspection reports.
“Dirty Dining” is a regular segment of Local 10 news that relays the latest updates on restaurants’ sanitation violations. This often includes reports of roach or rodent infestations, mold, restaurant shutdowns and “clean plate” restaurants (ones with zero violations).
Weinsier visited Sang’s Chinese and Dim Sum restaurant last week and was confronted by a woman who appeared to be the owner.
She claims #DirtyDining targets #Asian #Restaurants but we didn’t find a rodent and roaches in her #restaurant.. an Inspector did. An all NEW Dirty Dining tonight at 11. @WPLGLocal10 #foodsafety #eat #food #eatingout #SouthFlorida #takeout #Broward #Miami #NorthMiamiBeach pic.twitter.com/tSNWy3MMBs
— Jeff Weinsier (@jweinsierWPLG) June 2, 2022
“Can I ask you [a] question?” she asks Weinsier in the latest segment released Friday. “I saw you on TV show – 90 percent go to Asians’ restaurant.”
“So you think I only go after Asians?” Weinsier asks back.
“Yes,” she says, adding, “I don’t know why you are against Chinese restaurants.”
“I’m not against Chinese restaurants,” insists Weinsier.
“Ninety-five to 100 percent,” she argues.
Weinsier then refers back to the inspector’s report, which stated 21 violations, including a dead rodent found under the stove, live roaches found inside a box under a sink, roaches crawling on the kitchen floor and dead roaches in the dining room and under a dishwasher.
There were also roach droppings and mold-like slime, according to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
The woman, however, rejects his claims.
“Did you see any roaches in here?” she asks.
“It is on the inspection, ma’am,” Weinsier says.
The woman continues to reject the report, answering, “Really, show me. Show me a picture. We never have live roach[es] here. Can you show me the picture?”
Weinsier did not back down, responding that the inspection was public record.
“No, we don’t have live roach here,” she says again. “Why are you against Asian restaurant?”
“No, no, no. Don’t pull that on me. This isn’t my fault,” Weinsier states. “The inspector shut you down. The inspector shut you down — don’t blame it on me, don’t turn it around.”
Weinsier further defended himself by noting that many restaurant eaters would have “no idea” what went on behind closed kitchen doors without the “Dirty Dining” segment.
Sang’s Chinese and Dim Sum has since been allowed to re-open after a cleanup order and re-inspection.
Featured Image via local10.com