ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- A St. Louis woman who made a Facebook post claiming Steak ‘n Shake in Florissant was selling meat with live worms in it is now being sued by the company.
On January 5, Melissa White, who worked at the Florissant location posted this message with photos purporting to show worms in the restaurant’s meat.
#SHARESHARESHARE JUST GOT FIRED ??FROM STEAK N SHAKE IN FLORISSANT ON FLORRISANT AND LINBERGH ROAD BECAUSE I FOUND LIVE WORMS WHILE COOKING A STEAKPATTY MOVING INSIDE OF IT AND REFUSED TO SELL THAT MEAT..... WELL RIGHT NOW #RIGHTNOW THEY ARE STILL SELLING SAME MEAT #NOONEEVENCHECKEDIT. I JUST DONT WANT EVERYONE GETTING SICK. I JUST GOT FIRED FOR NOTHING I HAVE A FAMILY THIS SHIT IS NOT RIGHT I DID NOTHING WRONGThe post got more than 36,000 shares and nearly 800 comments.
Wednesday, Steak ‘n Shake filed a lawsuit in federal court refuting White’s story.
First, while they acknowledge White was employed at the Florissant location, they say she was never fired, but instead clocked out and never came back.
More importantly the restaurant says they did check the meat and found no violations.
According to the suit, within three hours of White’s post on Facebook, a health inspector from the St. Louis County Health Department visited the restaurant and filed a report finding no violations. The eatery retained it’s A rating.
Steak ‘n Shake’s account of events differs from White’s, as the company says she found the allegedly tainted meat when getting ready to cook a meal for herself. She called district manager Frank Tardy to report what she’d found and the suit says he arrived promptly to inspect the meat. However, White would not give him the patty she planned to cook for herself.
According to the suit:“Mr. Tardy promptly arrived at the store to investigate her claim, and inspected the beef patties in the store, including other patties from the pan from which Defendant took the patty she was cooking. Mr. Tardy found no worms in any of the patties in the store and found no food safety issues.
After Mr. Tardy inspected the patties, the General Manager of the Florissant store, George Nicholson, asked Defendant for the patty that she was cooking.
Defendant immediately refused to provide the patty to Mr. Nicholson so it could be inspected. After Defendant refused to provide the patty to Mr. Nicholson, Mr. Tardy asked Defendant for the patty at least twice, informing her that he needed to inspect the patty because of her claim.
Defendant repeatedly refused to provide the patty to Mr. Tardy while displaying a rude, disrespectful, and uncooperative attitude.
Despite numerous requests by Steak n Shake, Defendant never allowed Steak n Shake management to inspect the patty that she claimed had worms in it.
Defendant then informed Mr. Tardy that she was clocking out and planned to never come back to the store.
Thereafter, Defendant clocked out and left the store."Also according to the suit, White told patrons there were worms in the meat and several left the restaurant. White also took the allegedly tainted meat with her.
It was suggested in the comments of the Facebook post that what White saw was fat particles, not worms, but that comment was deleted. The lawsuit also alleges White deleted that comment.
Steak ‘n Shake claims it contacted White to demand she take the post down, and when she didn’t they filed the suit alleging defamation and seeking more than $75,000.