Contrary to Trump’s tweet, the Red Hen breezed through its last health inspection

The Red Hen in Lexington, Va.
Daniel Lin/Associated Press
The Red Hen in Lexington, Va.

President Trump bashed a restaurant in Virginia over cleanliness Monday in response to its treatment of Sarah Sanders, but recent Virginia health department records show that the Red Hen easily passed its most recent inspections.

In fact, during the inspection performed in February, inspectors sounded almost complimentary, noting in a report that staff uniforms were clean and the restaurant had done an “excellent job” dating its food.

The previous year, it had a similarly positive inspection. Inspectors had just one citation: pickles and jams in a sealed container had not come from an “approved food processing plant.” The operator told inspectors the jars were for display only and promised to remove them.


President Trump tweeted Monday that the restaurant needed a paint job and suggested its kitchen was dirty after his press secretary was asked to leave the establishment on Friday evening.

Get Today in Politics in your inbox:
A digest of the top political stories from the Globe, sent to your inbox Monday-Friday.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

It was not clear from Trump’s tweet whether he has ever visited the restaurant, or if he was commenting on photos taken of the exterior by news photographers in the wake of the controversy.

Meanwhile, Trump’s own properties have had their share of food safety problems. The Miami Herald reported in early 2017 that Mar-a-Lago had racked up 13 violations, which included food stored in broken coolers.

However, Trump’s Palm Beach resort has since cleaned up its act, and passed its most recent inspection in April with flying colors.