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7 Champaign County restaurants fail January inspections

By Dan Petrella/CU-CitizenAccess -- The list of seven Champaign County restaurants that failed public health inspections in January features a mix of new and familiar names.

One of the familiar names was Garcia’s Pizza in a Pan, 313 N. Mattis Ave., Champaign.

The pizzeria received a score of 23 out of 100 on its Jan. 24 inspection. Eateries fail inspections when they score 35 or lower. It was the fifth time that Garcia's failed an inspection in the past five years, but it was the first failure since September 2009.

Inspectors cited the restaurant for violations that included improper hand washing by an employee, pre-assembled pizzas being stored on a counter without required time and date labeling, storing soiled and rusted pizza pans, and having no employees on duty who had passed a required food-service certification course, according health district records.

CU-CitizenAccess obtained the inspections records from the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District through a request filed under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act. The district does not publicize the results of its inspections in any form. Restaurants, school and hospital cafeterias, and other food-service facilities are inspected on a regular basis because unsanitary conditions can spread food-borne illnesses.

A private contractor is building a website for the district that would make inspection records available to the public as soon as they are completed. District officials hope to launch the site this spring, but, pointing to ongoing “computer glitches,” they have missed several previous goals for doing so, most recently in January.

Environmental Health Director Jim Roberts, who oversees inspections for the district, said programmers at Charlotte, N.C.-based Garrison Enterprises Inc. are currently fixing bugs and making changes to the site based on the district's feedback on a prototype.

"I think that it will be accomplished this spring," Roberts said.

As a public service, CU-CitizenAccess obtains inspection reports and adds restaurants that have failed to an interactive map on a monthly basis. (See the sidebar above for a link to the map.)

Last year, CU-CitizenAccess reported that one in 10 Champaign County restaurants had failed at least one inspection since April 2007.

Two restaurants failed their second inspections during that period in January: Ruby Tuesday, 2301 N. Prospect Ave., Champaign, and Star Karaoke, 503 Lyndhurst Alley, Savoy.

Among the new names was Aroma Curry House, 2502 Village Green Place in Champaign, which received its permit from the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District in December only to see it temporarily suspended the following month.

The restaurant, specializing in South Indian cuisine, scored negative 1 out of 100 on its Jan. 18 inspection, according to public health district records. Negative inspection scores are grounds for immediate closure until the problems inspectors identify are corrected.

The inspector suspended Aroma’s health permit at 12:30 p.m. Jan. 18. Two days later, the restaurant passed its mandatory reinspection, scoring 97 out 100, and was allowed to reopen. (Click here to view the reinspection report.)

During Aroma’s first routine health inspection, a district official noted 10 critical health-code violations and numerous others. Violations included employees wiping their hands on aprons and a common towel, workers handling ready-to-eat food with bare hands, and no proof that any workers were food-service certified, according to inspection records.

Other new names were: Casey’s General Store 2258, Tolono; Azteca, Mahomet; and Sammy’s Pancake House, 1206 N. Mattis Ave., Champaign. (For a complete list of January’s inspection failures, see below.)

January inspection failures

Click on the name of a restaurant to view its inspection report. For a complete listing of restaurants that have failed inspections since April 2007, see the map in the sidebar.

Facility Name Address Inspection Date Inspection Type Adjusted Score
Casey's General Store 2258 501 N. Long St., Tolono, IL 61880 1/6/2012 Routine 24
Azteca 703 Eastwood Drive, Mahomet, IL 61853 1/10/2012 Routine 10
Star Karaoke 503 Lyndhurst Alley, Savoy, IL 61874 1/11/2012 Routine 26
Aroma Curry House 2502 Village Green Place, Champaign, IL 61822
1/18/2012 Routine -1
Garcia's Pizza in a Pan 313 N. Mattis Ave., Champaign, IL 61821 1/24/2012 Routine 23
Sammy's Pancake House 1206 N. Mattis Ave., Champaign, IL 61821 1/24/2012 Routine 15
Ruby Tuesday 2301 N. Prospect Ave., Champaign, IL 61822 1/26/2012 Routine 8


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