Hungry Howie's employees fired over arm in sauce video

- Video of a Hungry Howie's pizza employee stirring up a bucket of sauce with her bare arm has led the termination of both the woman in the video and the person who recorded the disgusting act.

It was posted on Snapchat with a caption that read "elbow deep."

The video was shot at the Hungry Howie's on Seven Mile and Inkster, in Livonia. According to the manager of that location, both employees were originally reprimanded but not fired.

The owner now says that's changed and both employees have been fired.

The owner of this Hungry Howie's, Jeff Hearn says he's owned this store and others, for over 40 years and says he has changed the policies have changed.

"I don't know why that happened, we have a procedure and they didn't follow it," Hearn said. "I am not happy myself seeing that video with their hands in the sauce."

FOX 2: "Do you know if they served the sauce on pizza?"

"Probably, I'm not going to lie about it," Hearn said.

The owner says that this used to be the way the pizza chain used to teach new employees how to stir the sauce - seven years ago.

RELATED: Online video shows Livonia Hungry Howie's worker stirring sauce with bare arm

After seeing the video on FOX 2, a former employee who chose to remain anonymous said that he worked at the same store at Seven Mile and Inkster. When he was 16 about 20 years ago, he explained that was the way he was taught, using his arms as well.

"I felt bad for the two girls," he said. "Because that's how they were trained to do it and I was trained the same way.

"The sauce came in packets. You would take the five-gallon bucket and dump the packet on the bottom. You pour the raw tomato sauce and then you put your arm in there and you stir up the seasoning."

The former employee says even when the health department would come to the store the sauces would be mixed, first thing.

"Even if they saw the sauces in the freezer, they don't know how it was mixed."

He says he can't believe this arm-sauce stirring may still be going on.

"People get sick every day because of things like this,” the former employee said.

Hearn said that the stirring practice has long since been changed.

"That was a 20-year-old program, that's been changed," Hearn said. "Not because of yesterday, it has been quite a few years now, we've changed."

Hearn says his employees are supposed to use a whisk to toss the sauce.

FOX 2: "When did you switch to the whisk?"

"It has been about seven years now," Hearn said.

Meanwhile a spokesperson for Hungry Howie's told FOX 2 Thursday that the food served and the company's practice are of the highest standards and that all franchisees and store operators are trained to use the same methods.

"I'm sorry that this incident happened," Hearn said. "And protocol we're going to changing this around. That's all I have to say."

WEB UPDATE: The Hungry Howie's official Twitter account posted "We train all our franchisees to keep the highest standards of cleanliness. We are working with the owner to have this corrected."

 

 

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