Posted: Aug 9, 2013 7:00 PM by Alex Swoyer, KOMU 8 Reporter
Updated: Aug 9, 2013 8:14 PM
COLUMBIA - The Columbia/Boone County Health Department limits restaurants to no more than 10 critical violations.
"However, in some instances, it's just the number and type of critical violations that it is not possible to correct those at the time of inspection," explained Kayla Wekenborg who is the Environmental Public Health Supervisor.
Once a restaurant has more than 10 critical violations that it cannot fix, that is when it must close. In the health department's latest reports, Taj Mahal, Taqueria El Rodeo and La Terraza Grill had more than 10 critical violations including dirty knives, cockroaches and slime in the ice machines. These establishments had to close for at least one full day.
The owner of Taj Mahal, Philip Gill, responded, "The kitchen was small and old and hard to work in and now we are in the process of moving to a new location so that is why the violation occured. Violations will not happen at the new location." The other two restaurants did not respond to KOMU 8 New's request for a response.
Wekenborg explained, "They could potentially open the same day, or sometimes the next business day, but it's up to the establishment to call public health and human services for reinspection when they are ready."
A local phsycian said the inspections matter because when you have contamination, you can find harmful strains of bacteria. "You would be looking at fever, abdominal pain, throwing up, diarrhea, sometimes bloody - people call it food poisioning - that's what they are talking about," said Dr. Jason Zerrer M.D. who works at the Providence Urgent Care.
To see if your favorite restaurant has any critical violations, go to the City of Columbia's Health Department website. There you will find if your restaurant is serving up more than your favorite dish.