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Trump's Mar-a-Lago Hit With 13 Health Violations in January

by Andrew Rafferty /  / Updated 
Owner of the New England Patriots Robert Kraft, from left, First Lady Melania Trump, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, President Donald Trump, and Abe's wife Akie Abe sit for dinner at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort on Feb. 10, 2017.Nicholas Kamm / AFP - Getty Images, file

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President Donald Trump may want to consider swinging by the kitchen when he visits his plush Mar-a-Lago resort this weekend.

Florida health inspectors found more than a dozen violations during a Jan. 26 check of the Palm Beach, Florida estate, according to recently published reports from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations.

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Three of those violations were labeled high priority, meaning they could contribute to foodborne illness. The club did, however, meet the minimum standards to remain in operation.

The high-priority violations for the club, which has a $200,000 initiation fee, were:

  • Fish prepared to be served raw or undercooked had “not undergone proper parasite destruction.” The inspectors ordered that the fish either be fully cooked or discarded.

  • Raw meats in two of the club’s coolers were over, some significantly, the regulated 41 degrees Fahrenheit. Ham was measured at 57 degrees, beef and duck were both at 50, and poultry warmed to 49. One walk-in cooler was mistakenly set to defrost, according to the report.

  • Inspectors told kitchen staff to empty broken coolers and not use again until they’re fixed.

The inspection came about two weeks before Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Mar-a-Lago and dined openly as resort members snapped pictures of the two leaders responding to a ballistic missile test by North Korea.

Trump also hosted Chinese Chinese President Xi Jinping there last week.

“We take food safety very seriously and all of the minor adjustments were made immediately," a spokesperson for the Trump Organization said. "Additionally, the report by the health inspector was updated on the same day to reflect that the Mar-a-Lago Club was in full compliance.”

"These infractions were part of a routine inspection and were not complaint-based," Stephen Lawson, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations' communications director said in a statement. "The infractions were corrected on site, and the establishment was immediately brought into compliance."

Despite Trump’s frequent visits to Mar-a-Lago, the club has seen an uptick in violations since the former real estate tycoon entered politics.

An April 2016 inspection found 11 violations, though none were deemed high priority. Two violations were found during a December 2015 inspection, four during an April 2015 check, four in December 2014, and none in June 2014. Just one violation during those inspections was high priority.

Trump was often involved in the day-to-day operations of the resort before entering politics, according to the Miami Herald, which first reported on the violations. Trump would go into the kitchen and offer directions to staff.

Since entering the Oval Office, Trump still makes frequent trips to what has been dubbed the “Southern White House.” The president will have spent 28 percent of his term traveling to or staying at Mar-a-Lago after his visit this weekend, according to an NBC News estimate.

Watchdog groups have raised concerns about the ethics and cost of Trump’s repeated trips to his own property, which has doubled membership costs since Trump entered the Oval Office.

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