Social media accuses a Lubbock McDonald’s of having mold in kitchen; here’s what inspectors actually found


Updated for statement from local franchisee, Vargas Management

LUBBOCK, Texas — A Facebook post this week went locally viral in the Lubbock area – claiming that the McDonald’s location at South Loop east of University Avenue had a problem in the kitchen with mold.

Images in the post showed multiple dirty conditions. It was made by a former shift leader, Prechey Pace, claiming to have been forced to quit.

In the post, Pace said, “I wouldn’t keep my mouth closed about how nasty the store is.”

Pace said she would take the photos because she would send them to a group chat for other staff members to take care of, and in many of the photos, she said there are health violations.

“I feel like people need to know what’s going on behind the counter. They’re spending their money on this food. There’s viruses that you can get from eating food when people are not using the proper food safety procedures,” Pace said.

She said she worked at the restaurant for more than a year.

“What frustrated me most about it is I was a morning manager so every morning I would come in to filth. So I would have to work my crew twice as hard as far as we gotta get the store clean when we come in,” Price said.

According to a time stamp on the photo with mold on the Frappe machine, it was taken September 5.

Images from employee who made social media post (used here with permission)

The City of Lubbock on Thursday afternoon said health inspectors were aware of the Facebook post, and an inspector had been sent to go look at the kitchen. noticed that the inspector’s truck was parked at the location for more than two hours.

On Friday, we were able to obtain the results of the inspection which found a total of seven violations. Three of them were described as priority violations.

The inspection on Thursday found soiled surfaces, but there was no mention of mold in the official report. After the initial version of this story was published, Vargas Management, Inc. — the franchisee that owns and operates that particular location of McDonald’s — issued a statement saying no mold was found.

Vargas Management said it was also aware of the social media post on Thursday, and the company said it reached out to the city to request an inspection of the restaurant at 2433 South Loop 289.

The most recent inspection mentioned surfaces not being clean or sanitized. The issue of hand washing (or use of gloves) was also not in compliance.

In November, there was only one violation. But it was considered a priority violation.

In October, inspectors with the City of Lubbock found 10 violations – three of which were categorized as priority violations.

In September, there were 14 violations – three of which were priority violations.

We reached out to the local McDonald’s franchisee, Vargas Management, Inc., before publishing the story. At first, Vargas chose not to comment, but later offered a written statement.

The full statement from Vargas Management is as follows:

Vargas Management, Inc. handles the operations of the McDonald’s restaurant at 2433 S. Loop 289, Lubbock, Texas.

The owner of the restaurant, Hugo Vargas, purchased the facility in 2013, moving his family to Lubbock, Texas from out of state. Since moving to Lubbock, the Vargas family has been very active in the community through sponsorships of various nonprofit organizations, and the family loves calling Lubbock home. We take great pride in the cleanliness of this restaurant and service to the Lubbock community. Upon hearing about the negative social media post concerning this restaurant, and to ensure there were no issues, we contacted the Lubbock Health Department requesting an immediate inspection. The restaurant was inspected both yesterday [Thursday] and today [Friday], with no mold found as alleged in social media. Serving safe, high quality food is of the utmost importance. We do not believe the posted pictures on social media accurately represent our restaurant and the standards we strive to meet and exceed daily. Vargas Management is proud of its operation of this McDonald’s restaurant location, and will continue to provide both quality food and great service to Lubbock and its surrounding communities.

As we continue to work on this story, it will be updated late Friday afternoon and Friday evening.

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