Dirty Dining: Steak 'n Shake tallies up 62 violations in a week with food at hazardous temperatures

KENNETH CITY, Fla. - We met Mark Thomas outside a popular Steak 'n Shake in Kenneth City. He admits, he loves it there.

"They're open 24 hours. I wake up at one a.m. and I want something to eat. I come here and get it," Thomas said.

He visits the restaurant on Park Street a few times a week, and his loyalty seems to be recognized.

"I have my own special seat and everything! I know them all by first name," Thomas said.

"So you like the food?" asked ABC Action News anchor Wendy Ryan.

"I love the food!"

But some of the food at this Steak 'n Shake location may not have been safe to eat recently.

Just last week, inspectors issued a warning and an administrative complaint after finding 62 violations within five days.

During two visits at the end of February, six bins of candy used in milkshakes had to be thrown out after inspectors found it soaked in wet clumps from a dairy spill. And chicken, raw beef, grilled onions and butter were held at hazardous temperatures that could make customers sick.
 
So Ryan went inside the fast food eatery to see what's going on.

But despite those sweet milkshakes Steak 'n Shake serves, the reception Ryan received inside the Kenneth City location was not so sweet.

"I need you all to leave. I'm sorry," the manager quickly said soon after she walked in.

But inspectors will surely be back after finding employees failed to wash their hands, a dish machine not sanitizing properly and no certified food manager on duty last week.

And Ryan discovered it's not the first time the place had repeat violations.

According to records from 2011 and 2012, two administrative complaints were filed with the state fining Steak 'n Shake $800.

But one loyal customer is not fazed.
 
"They'll correct it, I'm sure," Thomas said.

"So you're not concerned?" Ryan asked.

"No, I'm still going to come here. I love it here!" Thomas added.

We contacted Steak 'n Shake's corporate office several times and left messages for Senior Vice President of Marketing Jim Flannigan, but he never returned our calls.

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