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Health Department Inspects Mimi's after Reddit, Citizens Raise Concerns

There were no violations found at the restaurant off MD Route 175, the health department said.

A Jan. 29 inspection revealed nothing in violation of health department standards, according to a Howard County health department spokeswoman. (Credit: Patch)
A Jan. 29 inspection revealed nothing in violation of health department standards, according to a Howard County health department spokeswoman. (Credit: Patch)
The Howard County Health Department sent inspectors to Mimi's Cafe in Gateway Overlook Wednesday morning in response to a number of complaints, including some that linked to a post on Reddit, health department spokeswoman Lisa De Hernandez said.

Someone also shared a link to the photographs from the Reddit post, which showed insects around to-go boxes and other unsanitary conditions, on Columbia Patch.

"We had a food inspector at Mimi’s first thing this morning to conduct a comprehensive inspection ... but also with an eye for those things specific to the pictures on Reddit," De Hernandez said Wednesday.

The comprehensive inspection was standard procedure for responding to any complaint, according to De Hernandzez. However, the number of complaints the department received about Mimi's was "highly unusual"—15 complaints in one day—according to The Baltiimore Sun.

Inspectors found no violations that would cause danger to the public or lead the health department to close the restaurant, De Hernandez said: "It is open for business and was busy at the lunch hour as I understand."

In addition, she said, the restaurant passed its most recent inspection in May.

The Mimi's franchise said it was committed to safety and was "investigating the matter" of the photographs but "cannot verify the accuracy of the photos, or whether they were taken at one of our restaurants," The Baltimore Sun reported.

The photographs were not dated and there were no identifying features that would link them to a specific restaurant.

The person who posted the pictures on Imgur using the name "TheWaiter" identified him/herself as a former employee who was doing a "photo dump" of images stored on a cell phone, in a follow-up on Reddit.

"To all wondering, this was months ago and may have since been changed but probably not. I left that place before it drove me crazy and after doing a photo dump of my phone a couple days ago I decided to make a post of my greatest hits if you will," the Reddit poster said Thursday morning. "I agree i should have reported it a while ago but nobody else seemed to mind or notice and the pay was awful, i struggled to even pay rent for those few months of torture."

The final health inspection report from Mimi's is expected to be released Thursday morning.

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