KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- As a favor for a friend, the owner of a Kansas City restaurant agreed to keep a deer carcass in one of the restaurant's freezers. An unannounced health inspector discovered the carcass on Friday, Nov. 16, resulting in the restaurant's temporarily closure.
Jeff Hershberger with the Kansas City Health Department said Los Alamos Market, located at 1667 Summit St., had a total of 13 critical health violations, including improper sanitary conditions, food contamination and inadequate pest control measures. The inspector said live and dead cockroaches were seen inside the restaurant.
As for the deer carcass, Hershberger said there was some suspicion that it was roadkill, although the health department could not confirm that.
"It still had the head, the hooves, the horns, the skin," Hershberger said. He added that Los Alamos must provide third-party documentation, proving the deer has been properly disposed of and that none of the meat was consumed in the restaurant or elsewhere.
While it is not illegal to pick up roadkill, Hershberger said there is no place for it in restaurants.
"All meat has to come form an approved source," he said. "That assures the safety of the meat." Hershberger added that people who pick up and eat roadkill do so at their own risk.
It's unclear how long Los Alamos Market will be closed. According to Hershberger, it is "really very rare" for restaurants to store carcasses and that most Kansas City establishments abide by health codes.
The owner of Los Alamos said a lesson's been learned.
"Hopefully these things will make us strong, better, and it won't happen again," he said.