Frisch’s Big Boy restaurant in Marysville was temporarily closed by the Union County Health Department (UCHD) for health code violations. The restaurant has reopened, but is now on a more frequent inspection cycle to improve cleaning practices. Photos taken by UCHD sanitarians show extensive grease build-up on the back of the restaurant’s griddles, above, as well as debris on the food service counter, below. (Photos submitted)
Health department closes Frisch’s for cleaning; has since reopened
A local restaurant was temporarily shut down and will now be inspected more frequently after health code violations.
Frisch’s Big Boy restaurant in Marysville had poor cleaning practices and improperly functioning equipment, according to Union County Health Department (UCHD) Director of Environmental Health Marcia Dreiseidel.
She said the issues were discovered Jan. 6, after a fire at the restaurant. The fire began when an employee turned on the restaurant’s grill. Dreiseidel said the manager on duty handled the situation appropriately by reporting the fire to UCHD.
UCHD then sent an inspector to assess the situation, who discovered conditions unrelated to the fire that required “immediate attention.”
The issues identified were related to “improper cleaning practices,” Dreiseidel said, including equipment and facilities.
“The grill was incredibly dirty – it had not been cleaned in a long time,” Dreiseidel said.
Health Commissioner Jason Orcena ordered closure of the facility until the noted issues were addressed.
Aside from the dirty cooking surfaces and areas, Dreiseidel said the dishwasher did not work properly either, but staff continued to use it.
The dishwasher at the restaurant uses a conveyor system. Health department officials said the conveyor was moving too quickly and not allowing dishes enough time in the hot water sanitizer.
The sanitarian re-inspected the restaurant the next evening, Jan. 7, and found the cleaning issues were “somewhat miraculously” remedied, Dreiseidel said.
She said the restaurant employed a private cleaning company to use pressure washers to clean the restaurant kitchen.
At this point, the dishwasher repair was not completed. Despite this, Dreiseidel said the restaurant was able to properly clean dishes using a three-compartment sink.
Frisch’s was permitted to reopen, with the stipulation employees would not use the improperly functioning dishwasher.
The restaurant reopened Jan. 8.
It was inspected again Wednesday, Jan. 15, when a sanitarian learned the dishwasher had been repaired.
However, “daily routine cleaning practices still need to be improved,” according to a document from UCHD Public Information Officer Jennifer Thrush.
Frisch’s is now on a monthly inspection cycle, according to the document, compared to the biannual schedule required of other, similar restaurants.
Frisch’s Big Boy corporate offices did not reply to requests for comments immediately. Employees of the local Frisch’s restaurant directed questions to the corporate office.
Board of Health member Tiffany Wood asked how the restaurant had gotten to such a point, if it was undergoing regular inspections.
Inspections are only required twice each year for most restaurants, Dreiseidel replied.
“We see them for one hour, twice a year and two days later it could be a disaster,” she said.
Short staffing and trouble finding restaurant employees is an issue in the area, Dreiseidel explained, noting that it is “not an excuse” for violating health code regulations.
Thrush said Frisch’s was last inspected in January and February 2019.
Health departments are prohibited from announcing inspections prior to a visit, so each visit is unexpected, Orcena said.
While restaurants aren’t given time to prepare for an inspection, Orcena said UCHD sanitarians know the difference between “a bad rush hour” and legitimate health code violations.
During the most recent inspections of Frisch’s, Thrush said no critical violations were found. However, there were some non-critical violations related to cleaning.
Non-critical violations are those not directly related to the cause of foodborne illness, she said. Examples include “a lack of facility cleanliness and maintenance or improper cleaning of equipment and utensils.”
Eventually, if not addressed, Thrush said non-critical violations can escalate to the critical level, those which can directly lead to illness.
Aside from regularly scheduled inspections, Dreiseidel said UCHD follows up with any nuisance complaint filed by a resident.
Thrush emphasized UCHD accepts complaints in any format. There is no specific form complainants need to fill out, they can simply contact UCHD however is most convenient to alert the agency.
...For the full story, select an option below.