Kitchen at Mar-a-Lago Could Be Serving Parasites to Foreign Heads of State, Inspector Finds

Kitchen at Mar-a-Lago Could Be Serving Parasites to Foreign Heads of State, Inspector Finds

Trump Property Could Have Sickened Foreign Envoy

Only days before Donald Trump feted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at his “winter White House,” Mar-a-Lago, food safety inspectors found alarming problems in the kitchen there, the Miami Herald reported, Wednesday.

The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation posted the inspection report as a publicly available file on its website. The report cites at least 10 safety violations that were present in Mar-a-Lago’s kitchen at the time of the inspection on January 26th. Three of the violations were termed “High Priority Violations,” meaning they posed a serious risk of causing foodborne illness. This included multiple instances of meat stored at a temperature that was too high. The most disturbing detail was,

“High Priority – Nonexempt fish offered raw or undercooked has not undergone proper parasite destruction. Fish must be fully cooked or discarded.”

Yes, Trump was prepared to treat the Japanese Prime Minister to potentially parasite-carrying raw fish. Maybe he was a little hasty about neutering the State Department?

Trump’s hosting of Abe at Mar-a-Lago was already an embarrassment, as images quickly emerged showing how absurdly easy it was for club members to get access to Abe, and how Trump reportedly showed off Abe to paying club members, as if he were some curiosity for luxury tourists. But now it is also a diplomatic embarrassment, because, although Trump likes to treat his branded property as a classy alternative to the White House, its health and safety is seriously below reasonable standards. How would the US deal with the diplomatic fallout if it was revealed that the entire Japanese entourage got parasites from their dinner at Mar-a-Lago?

This highlights the fact that Trump is using the presidency as a money-making opportunity, and not taking the world’s most important public office seriously. It also shows that some of the traditions Trump is trampling are important not merely for show. The White House is subject to public oversight. Mar-a-Lago is a private property, and therefore, it has probably been cutting corners in a lot of ways for years. The site is not equipped to handle the standards necessary for hosting a foreign envoy. Congress should do its job and demand that Trump live up to the basic responsibilities of his office, and use the public trust of the White House, not his private property.

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

Marc Belisle is the Reverb Press World Affairs Editor. He is a writer, activist and teacher. He has a Master's degree in International Conflict Analysis from the Brussels School of International Studies. READ MORE BY MARC.