Restaurant News & Reviews

A Chili’s faces over $62,000 in fines. A worker fell into scalding water used for cooking

The Chili’s along Northwest 87th Avenue in Doral, where a worker fall into a Frymaster in October.
The Chili’s along Northwest 87th Avenue in Doral, where a worker fall into a Frymaster in October.

A worker at the Doral Chili’s fell from a platform into 185-degree water used to cook food and the chain’s owner faces $62,513 in fines from citations after an accident investigation.

Brinker Florida, a division of Texas-based Brinker International Restaurants, owner of Chili’s and Maggiano’s chains likely will reach a settlement on the fines. From Oct. 1, 2008 to Oct. 1, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration had no relationship with Brinker Florida.

Then, on Oct. 2, 2018, according to the OSHA Citation and Notification of Penalty, an employee was on a platform without a guardrail above a Frymaster Rethermalizer without a cover. A rethermalizer is a restaurant cooking appliance that uses a hot water bath to heat frozen or chilled prepacked foods.

OSHA noted: “The employer did not ensure an employee who was working less than 4 feet above a dangerous Frymaster FE155CSE Rethermalizer with the water vat temperature at 185 degrees; was protected from falling into or onto dangerous equipment; and/or ensure that the dangerous equipment was guarded to eliminate the hazard.”

OSHA also dinged the restaurant for having 6-foot and 3-foot aluminum ladders that were “in need of deep cleaning to remove grease/debris build up which made the ladder slippery and a hazard for employees using it.”

Other citations spotted employees working with Grease Express Fast Foam, a cleaning corrosive, without appropriate gloves or protection on the eyes and face.

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Since 1989, David J. Neal’s domain at the Miami Herald has expanded to include writing about Panthers (NHL and FIU), Dolphins, old school animation, food safety, fraud, naughty lawyers, bad doctors and all manner of breaking news. He drinks coladas whole. He does not work Indianapolis 500 Race Day.