Troubleshooter Diane Wilson investigates Papa John's dough

A business owner didn't like how Papa John's employees were transporting and handling pizza dough.
April 16, 2014 3:29:58 PM PDT
A Raleigh business owner did not like what he saw when it came to how Papa John's employees were transporting and handling pizza dough. He took video and pictures of it and reported it to Papa John's, but months later it was still happening.

You can see in the video pizza dough sitting in crates, exposed to the elements. The dough is being taken out of a personal vehicle and heading into the Brier Creek Papa John's.

James Barnhill first noticed this back in August, as his tanning business is just doors down from the Papa John's.

"It just didn't look very sanitary to me. So I emailed the corporate office and asked them about it, and their response back from the corporate office was to have the dough thrown away," James said.

However, he captured the exposed dough, again, months later.

"The gentleman was picking up containers and putting in car, and I didn't know if it was touching his jacket or if rain was getting on dough or not," James said.

Then, just this week, James spotted the exposed dough sitting in crates being loaded into a Papa John's employee's personal car.

"They didn't have on any gloves, it wasn't covered, there is no telling what is in the back seat of your car. I mean we all have dirty cars," James said. "I tried to do the right thing by contacting them directly and it continued to happen, and my only other recourse was to call you."

We headed to the Papa John's and an inspector with the Wake County Health Department was also there to investigate the complaint.

"At no time was there any type of violation that constitutes any type of major public health or threat to the community," said Wake County health inspector Thomas Jumalon.

Thomas does say the dough should be covered, and if this would have happened during an inspection, it would have been a half point deduction. He also adds there is no problem with transporting the dough in personal vehicles.

"No difference than having it on a transport truck or a food truck or anything like that," he said.

A rep with Papa John's has looked at the video and admits the dough was not being transported correctly. He adds they are taking the steps to reinforce how dough should be covered.


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