'Excessive' bugs shut down McDonald's in Indiana

Excess bugs shut down McDonald's in Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH/CNN) - A McDonald's in Indianapolis was abruptly shut down after several sanitation complaints.

Workers said the fast food restaurant was crawling with bugs, from gnats to flies and even roaches. One passerby said it had a reputation as "the worst McDonald's in America."

"The gnats (are), like, everywhere, around the ice cream machine and all the other stuff," said an anonymous McDonald's employee.

A green "Closed" note from the Marion County Health Department has been taped to the front door of the restaurant. An employee who didn't want to go on camera said the pest problem has gotten out of control, with flies and other bugs "everywhere" for a few months.

The health department shut down the McDonald's around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, after multiple complaints came in over the past few months.

"We looked around the dining area and saw an excessive amount of fruit flies," said Drew Trackwell with the health department.

He added "excessive" meant to many to count - walls and ceilings were covered with them.

Officials said McDonald's put up fly traps in an attempt to fix the problem, but the fruit flies didn't go away. That forced the closure, a decision that left customers frustrated and confused.

"I just wanted to get an iced coffee real quick before I had to go to work," said customer Paula Robert. "I walked up to McDonald's and there is a health notice, which is pretty nasty."

According to the health department's website, inspectors have been sent to the McDonald's 40 times in the past three years. Normally, a fast food restaurant only requires routine inspections twice a year.

Inspection reports show complaints ranging from live bugs found in a cup of orange juice to roaches in the frappe machine.

Crews could be seen inside Wednesday, wearing masks and sanitizing the dining area. It's a process that employees said was too little, too late.

"Find new management. Find better management," the employee said. "I can't work in a store like that."

For now, the McDonald's will remain closed. It could take a few days for inspectors to go back in to decide if the restaurant is up to code and can reopen.

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