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Behind the Kitchen Door
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Inspectors go Behind the Kitchen Door of Zara Barker’s home



ABC 17 News has gone Behind the Kitchen Door at restaurants, bars, football stadiums and schools.

This time ABC 17 News invited Kala Wekenborg-Tomka, the environmental public health supervisor for Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services to inspect the kitchen of ABC 17's Zara Barker.

Wekenborg-Tomka started the inspection in the pantry.

“So things we would be looking for in here would be, ‘Are there any chemicals or toxic items stored with food items? Is there anything on the floor? Is there anything that would not be in its original packaging?'" she said.

Inside the pantry, Wekenborg-Tomka found containers with sugar and powdered sugar that weren't labeled, which would be a violation, but not a critical one, in a restaurant.

Wekenborg-Tomka gave Zara one critical violation right away -- her puppy, Lucia.

But, isn't she cute?

“So if we were in a food service establishment that we permitted and inspected, obviously there would be no pets allowed. So that would be a violation," she said.

Wekenborg-Tomka went through every cabinet and drawer in the kitchen and checked small kitchen appliances for any food residue or dirty surfaces that would come into contact with food during cooking.

Here are the critical violations Zara's kitchen received:

  • Dog in the kitchen
  • Food residue found on her Kitchen-Aid mixer, a pair of tongs and a cereal bowl (she blamed this one on her husband)
  • Chipped drinking glass
  • Stored raw chicken on the shelf above ready-to-eat foods (such as shredded cheese) inside the fridge
  • Not washing her hands before touching bread to make a sandwich (the ABC 17 News staff has banned her from bringing in food during potlucks)

“These are frequently hard to keep clean. Just because there's lots of small pieces," Wekenborg-Tomka said of Zara's food processor. "Actually yours is really clean. Good job.”

ABC 17 News Investigates / Boone / Columbia / News / Top Stories
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Zara Barker

Zara Barker is an anchor and investigative reporter for ABC 17 News. She anchors the Breaking News Desk during the morning newscast and anchors the 9 a.m. broadcast.


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