Restaurant inspectors find 13 violations at Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago private club

Nick Allen
U.S. President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach  - REUTERS

Restaurant inspectors found 13 violations in the kitchen at Mar-a-Lago, President Donald Trump's exclusive private club in Florida.

That included meats not stored at the right temperature, raw fish that had not undergone "proper parasite destruction", and two kitchen coolers that were "not maintained in good repair".

The club charges $200,000 in initiation fees and has become known as the Southern White House.

Mr Trump was due to set out from Washington for Mar-a-Lago on Thursday night, his seventh weekend visit there since becoming president.

The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, which enforces "sanitation and safety laws", inspected the club on Jan 26, two weeks before Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was hosted there.

Violations found included fish intended to be served raw or undercooked that had not had the right parasite destruction. Inspectors said the fish be fully cooked or discarded.

Inside a cooler inspectors found meats meant to be stored at 41F at higher temperatures.

There was ham at 57F, beef at 50F, duck at 50F, chicken at 49 degrees. According to the report a Mar-a-Lago technician said the cooler was on defrost and had "corrected the problem".

Other violations included an employee handwash sink where water was not hot enough.

Three of the violations were classed as "high priority" meaning they "could contribute directly to a foodborne illness".

 Mar-a-Lago Resort Credit: CJ Walker/Splash News

The number of violations had increased from 11 in 2016 and two in 2015.

​According to the report those found on the Jan 26 inspection were "corrected on site" at the time.

Mr Trump has owned Mar-a-Lago since 1985 and, according to the Miami Herald, used to be personally involved in day-to-day operations before his presidential run, when the it passed restaurant inspections with flying colours.

A self-described germophobe, he was once quoted as saying: "One bad hamburger and you can destroy McDonald’s."

It came as a Florida county was said to be considering imposing a "Trump tax" to cover the cost of the president's weekends at Mar-a-Lago.

Mr Trump's visits have cost Palm Beach County taxpayers about $2 million so far, with the county spending more than $60,000 a day when he is there, mostly on police overtime.

Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said the county expected to have spent about $250,000 during Mr Trump's recent meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

That was Mr Trump's sixth trip to Mar-a-Lago in the 12 weeks since his inauguration. The county is hoping the federal government will eventually reimburse its costs.

The US Coast Guard, which uses boats and helicopters 24 hours a day while the president is at Mar-a-Lago, said it had not yet been given extra funds to cover the cost.

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