Inside the latest health inspection for Gladys Knight's Chicken and Waffles

Credit: Willoughby Mariano

A recent story about soul music legend Gladys Knight's legal fight over her son's Atlanta restaurants mentioned that one of his eateries that bears her name flunked its most recent health inspection.

It was the second failure in a year for Gladys Knight's Chicken and Waffle's popular downtown Atlanta location. Knight's son Shanga Hankerson, 40, has run the iconic eatery since the late 1990s, and was arrested on felony theft charges in June after a Georgia Department of Revenue investigation found that he was taking tax money he collected and failed to hand it over to the state. An Atlanta Journal-constitution found that workers told detectives that he was using his funds on sex parties and marijuana as the restaurant sank.

Curious why the restaurant failed its inspection? Here are some comments from its inspection report:

  • "Observed potentially hazardous food cold held at greater than 41 degrees Fahrenheit. Observed raw fish and cooked ground salmon held in lowboy cooler at 57.2 and 58.2*F. These items were discarded on site."
  • "Observed employee engage in food preparation, handle clean equipment or utensils, or touch unwrapped single-service items, without washing hands."
  • "Observed facility in need of a detail cleaning. Observed heavy grease, dirt, dust, build- up on floor, walls, ceiling/repeat. Observed failure to repair broken tiles in the warewashing area, repair openings in the wall under warewashing sink. Observed pooled water on floor in the kitchen area.  Repeat Violation."
  • "Observed Prepared food not marked with date of preparation or date for disposal stored inside walk in cooler. Observed failure to discard expired Coca-Cola products"
  • "Observed toxic item (gallon of bleach) stored by food in server's station."
  • "Observed garbage piled high by the back entrance."
  • "Observed heavy fruitfly activity during the inspection/repeat. Observed 2 dead roaches, 2 live roaches in the kitchen area.

A mandatory follow-up inspection is required and the facility must schedule an "intervention hearing," according to the report.

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