The cockroaches in one of Montefiore Medical Center’s cafeterias were definitely not kosher.
But the Bronx hospital denies the charges of a food supervisor who has raised holy hell about the creepy crawlers, plus alleged nonkosher foods and other taboo practices in the kitchen at the Weiler Division.
The hospital fired Robert Frank, a mashgiach, or kosher-food supervisor, this month for badmouthing and “spreading false and/or misleading information” about the cafeteria.
Frank, one of three mash giachs at the Eastchester Road center, claims he was booted for doing his $18.55-an-hour job.
Robert calls me Sunday. “They haven’t given me any unemployment yet. I’ve got food stamps. I’m waiting on Medicaid. I haven’t found another job yet because they are not giving me a reference. Everybody I go to in the kosher industry somehow found out about what is going on. [Perhaps] they call up the OU and I get a bad reference. That’s it. I’m finished in that business.”
I hear a woman say, “So am I.”
Robert: “If I want to be in that business anyway. It’s a corrupt, crooked business.”
Woman: “What about me?”
Robert: “My wife too is working under the auspices of the OU in a place next door. They haven’t called her since this happened a month ago.
“She was a mashgiach in the Kosher Lunching club at YU, which is also under the Orthodox Union.”
Luke: “It sounds like you have been blackballed.”
“I filed a complaint with the state of New York to get my job back. I’ll just take money if they don’t want to give me my job back.
“They don’t understand that I am willing to keep telling people about this until something happens. I’m not giving up. I have nothing else to do right now.
“The OU and the hospital is very clever at covering up their tracks. They thought that by getting rid of me, they would just silence me. That I would just go commit suicide. I don’t do things like that. I want the truth to be known. I want to go to all the newspapers. Some newspapers don’t want to run the story.”
“My termination notice says that I told people false claims about the hospital. How can they be false claims when I have the documentation to prove it? Everything I’m saying, I’ve got documents to prove it. I’ve got videos. Recordings. The notice about the cockroaches was issued by one of their exterminators. I dug it out of the trash.”