LJS employee holding up coleslaw with caption 'Long John Silvers Clarksville Indiana' (l) Long John Silver's sign on building (c) LJS coleslaw 'Use By Date: 11/30/22' with caption 'Long John Silvers Clarksville Indiana' (r)

William Howard/Shutterstock @shawn_reedbell/TikTok (Licensed)

‘The district boss will not let us throw it away’: Long John Silver’s employee claims manager forces them to sell expired food

'She's making us sell this.'


Jack Alban


Posted on Dec 20, 2022   Updated on Dec 21, 2022, 12:14 pm CST

A Long John Silver’s employee has gone viral on TikTok after claiming that his district manager is forcing workers to serve expired coleslaw at his location. He also says the manager regularly switches out labels on expired food.

The worker and TikToker, Shawn Reed-Bell (@shawn_reedbell), calls the practices “awful” in his video, where he shows bags of coleslaw that are still in the freezer days after their expiration dates have passed.

@shawn_reedbell #longjohnsilvers #ljs #boycott ♬ original sound – shawn_reed-bell

A text overlay in the TikTok indicates that the Long John Silver’s location the employee is talking about is in Clarksville, Ind.

Shawn says in the video, “Even the best part about this is, she’s making us sell expired cole slaw. Look at this date.” He then directs the camera to the package, showing off the expiration date on the bag of slaw that says it must be served by Nov. 30.

“Today is December 4…and she’s making us sell this…all of this made up from that expired coleslaw,’ he says. “And the district boss will not let us throw it away, will not let us replace it.”

Shawn claims the manager simply switches labels on the restaurant products, rather than making them fresh.

“And all she does is, she switches the labels,” he says. “That’s what she does. She doesn’t switch the product, she doesn’t make it fresh. She switches the labels. It’s awful. It’s awful. No labels. Look at these. These are supposed to be done by November 30, all thrown out.”

He then cuts the camera to a tub of clams, that are still resting on the shelf 4 days after their expiration date.

In the comments, one viewer suggested that “use by” dates and “expiration dates” have different meanings.

“Not in a business and work place ko it is not,” Shawn wrote in response. “I have 15 years of corporate management experience and am a certified chef in California. now Indiana”

Others argued that vinegar in the coleslaw would prevent it from going bad, but Shawn clarified in another comment that the packages contain simply raw cabbage.

The USDA also states that “use by” dates don’t necessarily indicate that the food will spoil or become unsafe to eat by that time, but rather the quality of the food’s flavor may be compromised. The agency also linked to shelf-stable food safety protocols, and while seasonings and cooking oils may be considered shelf-stable, foods like cabbage and clams are not.

While this clip received over 53,000 views, Shawn also made several follow-up videos exposing the conditions of his Long John Silver’s store.

In one TikTok, Shawn claims the store leaves several food items out all day, including raw fish, shrimp, and french fries, among others.

@shawn_reedbell #longjohnsilvers #ljs ♬ BIG MAD – Ktlyn

Another follow-up video reveals the alleged lack of sanitation at the store. Shawn claims the back is littered with mice droppings and covered in black mold.

“Look at this rat shit, all over the floor, inside product boxes,” he says. “…They don’t care.”

@shawn_reedbell #longjohnsilvers #ljs #boycott ♬ original sound – shawn_reed-bell

In another clip, Shawn claims the location stores its cups of coleslaw upside down so they appear full.

@shawn_reedbell #longjohnsilvers #ljs ♬ Sunroof – Nicky Youre & dazy

Several viewers of Shawn’s series shared their disappointment and disgust with the restaurant’s condition.

“Yuck, I’ll never return. Thanks for exposing this!” one user wrote.

“All these nasty ass fast food videos and they want us to pay 15 dollars a meal these days ?!?” another said.

“That’ll get some people sick for real,” a third alleged.

Others argued that Shawn is intentionally trying to lose his job by sharing these clips.

“Bro out here trying to get fired,” one TikToker joked.

“lol bro out to ruin long John silvers,” a second claimed

The Daily Dot has reached out to Shawn via TikTok comment and Long John Silver’s via email for further information.

Update 12:12pm CT December 21: In an email to the Daily Dot, a Long John Silver’s spokesperson said the company is currently investigating this location.

“Simply put, what is shown in this TikTok video does not meet the standards of Long John Silver’s,” they wrote. “Our customers’ comprehensive experience is of the utmost importance to us, and we make it a priority to follow strict health and safety guidelines, with stringent protocols and associated training for our crews. To ensure the health and well-being of our customers is prioritized, we are investigating the practices of this location.”

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*First Published: Dec 20, 2022, 2:41 pm CST