They just combined the city and county health departments here and the new inspection process has closed 5 restaurants in the last 2 months. This is from today's newspaper.
County closes another kitchen, Franny's used to get high marks from city
The kitchen at Franny's restaurant and bar has been closed for more than a week since Sangamon County restaurant inspectors discovered a substantial mouse problem throughout the establishment.
The bar remains open, but all food was ordered destroyed, and no food preparation is allowed until the county Department of Public Health gives the all-clear, said Jim Henricks, the department's director of environmental health. A follow-up inspection is scheduled for today.
Owner Kevin Ausmus, closed the kitchen after the Aug. 24 inspection turned up 36 violations, 16 of which were considered "critical" and required immediate correction. The restaurant received a total of 94 demerit points, with zero being a perfect score under the county's scoring system, Henricks said.
Inspectors noted nine rodent and insect violations. Mouse droppings were spotted throughout the kitchen area - including on shelves above the food-preparation area, on a cutting board and on a sanitizing cloth.
In the basement, a dead mouse was found behind a cooling unit, and mouse droppings were seen on food items. Mouse holes or other entry points were found in multiple locations.
"The main problem is the mice," said Henricks, who visited the building last week. "It was one of the most serious I've seen in 30 years."
Other violations included the presence of spoiled steak and soup, a rusty and bulging can of an unidentified food product, unlabeled food, medication stored in an improper location and gnats behind the bar and in the basement, according to a food service inspection report.
All food in the building was supposed to be destroyed by Aug. 28, although some items still remained in a freezer when inspectors returned that day, Henricks said.
Franny's also was ordered to clear out a "massive accumulation of unnecessary items" in the basement by today and to arrange a visit from rodent- and insect-control professionals.
Since the merger of the city and county health departments on March 1, some local restaurant owners believe food service inspections have gotten tougher.
In early March, Franny's was cited by city restaurant inspectors for two critical and 11 non-critical violations. Another inspection later that month found five critical and 14 non-critical violations.
In August and December 2005, however, Franny's received gold certificates from city inspectors for consecutive inspection scores of 95 or higher (the city used a different scoring system than the county) with no critical violations.
"If they get the mouse situation cleared up, get all the outer openings closed and they show they can keep the place clean, then we'll let them open for limited food operation," such as serving pre-packaged frozen food, Henricks said. Jack@DrofBBQ.com
The Doctor of BBQ www.DrofBBQ.com Jack@DrofBBQ.com