Restaurant employee caught on camera says he was snorting meds - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Restaurant employee caught on camera says he was snorting medication

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -

It's the part of the restaurant that customers never see, but sometimes you wish you could.

Cell phone from Scottsdale restaurant's kitchen showing an employee snorting something off what appears to be the food preparation table.

One of the owners of that restaurant is talking about what happened and what exactly that employee was doing in the kitchen.

The co-owner of the restaurant says he was appalled when he first saw the video and confronted the employee seen in it about what exactly he was snorting and why he was doing it in the kitchen.

The cell phone video is shakey, but it shows a kitchen worker at a Orange Table bending down and sniffing something off what we're told is the food prep table.  He's then seen licking the paper he snorted off of.

"When I first saw the video it was very disturbing," said Orange Table co-owner Craig Pierson.

Pierson says the video was taken about three weeks ago.

"I needed to make sure I got clarification of what was going on if it was illegal.  I know it was a violation of health code and so I was very disturbed about that and knew I had to take action."

Pierson says he immediately confronted the employee in the video.

"He was at first very caught of guard, but he did it in front of everyone.  It wasn't that he was trying to keep it secret and I said, Cory this is a huge violation of health policy.. I go, were those illegal substances?"

But the employee denied doing anything illegal, telling his boss it was only medication he was prescribed.

"I guess he chose.. inhalation of his pain medication for faster absorption, which to me is absurd, I think that he should have thought about this much before," said Pierson.

The cell phone video was taken by a cook who has since been fired.  The owner says the firing had nothing to do with this video, but says he wasn't showing up on time. The employee seen in the video was suspended and reprimanded.

The health department says it hasn't launched an investigation because it doesn't have a formal complaint, but says any surface used to prepare food needs to be properly cleaned and sanitized.

The restaurant has been open more than two years and according to county inspectors, it had four violations in the last year.  All were corrected.

On Yelp.com, Orange Table gets four stars. People praise the food.

Pierson says this was an isolated incident and hopes it doesn't affect business.

"I know that we have a wonderful restaurant here that people adore and love.  I know that the food is fantastic and we take huge strides in safety."

We reached out to the employee seen in the video for comment, but have not heard back.

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