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Repeated health violations mean higher scrutiny for Kingman restaurant


The troubled buffet will be monitored for a while.

Sanitation, rodent droppings were issues; buffet has struggled with rules

KINGMAN - The Super Buffet on Kino Avenue, which was shut down June 25, received the green light to reopen from the Mohave County Environmental Health Department Wednesday.

The department closed the restaurant after repeatedly finding significant health code violations for unsanitary conditions, said Environmental Health Manager Rachel Patterson.

"They had a lot of cleaning, sanitation and cross-contamination problems," she said.

The restaurant was previously known as the Palace Buffet and was closed in February and August 2012 for similar health code violations and live roaches. It reopened in January as the Super Buffet.

"We were keeping close tabs on them from the last time and they were doing really well," Patterson said.

According to the department's online inspection records, Super Buffet received its first of three "needs improvement" ratings on May 30 after the department got a complaint of mousetraps in the dining area.

Inspectors didn't find any mousetraps in the dining area but did find a malfunctioning dishwasher; mouse droppings; food being consumed in the kitchen; food stored in plastic grocery bags in the freezer; food that wasn't being held at the proper temperature, dried food crusted onto counters, utensils and cutting boards; and dirty food storage bins. The restaurant was cited for eight health code violations.

The restaurant was inspected again on June 7 with similar results. This time, the inspector found a whole, raw, frozen fish lying on a shelf in the freezer. According to the inspection report, the county official was told the fish was for "personal consumption."

Inspectors finally gave the restaurant an "unacceptable" rating and issued a cease and desist order to close the restaurant on June 25 and cited it for 10 food code violations.

Inspectors returned July 8 and found that while some things had improved, the kitchen and food prep areas still needed a good scrubbing and rodent droppings were found in the dry goods storage area. The inspector ordered the restaurant to remain closed and cited it for seven violations.

A fifth inspection on Wednesday netted the restaurant a "needs improvement" rating and the okay to reopen.

"We try to work with restaurant owners. We really want everyone who wants to, to be able to operate a restaurant," Patterson said. "We have put them on a risk management plan."

The plan requires the restaurant owners to have a certified food protection manager at the restaurant at all times and submit weekly cleaning, temperature and sanitizing logs to the department. A certified food manager is required at all restaurants in Mohave County and is responsible for making sure all health codes are followed.

"They will be on that plan until we see significant improvement in the restaurant," Patterson said.


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