2 Columbia Mall restaurants temporarily closed for health code violations

Tuesday, October 9, 2012 | 5:47 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Columbia Mall fast food restaurants Famous Cajun and Stir Fry 88 were temporarily closed by the Health Department after critical health code violations were found in each business Monday.

Environmental Public Health Supervisor Kala Gunier said an inspector found improper storage of raw and ready-to-eat foods, soiled utensils and unclean surfaces in each business. An inspection report also found roach infestation at Stir Fry 88.

Rusty Strodtman, senior general manager of Columbia Mall, said he was made aware of a customer's complaint about food from Stir Fry 88 on Sunday. Strodtman said he contacted the Public Health and Human Services Department on Monday morning.

"It's a huge worry of ours," he said. "It is very concerning to us that a customer had a negative experience. Ideally, we don’t want that to happen again."

This is not the first time the restaurants have been closed by the Health Department.

Famous Cajun last closed in August 2011. Stir Fry 88 closed twice in 2012, once in January and again in May, Gunier said. Restaurants closed for violations typically ask to be reinspected in 24 to 36 hours, she said.

Gunier said the Health Department cannot permanently close either restaurant without holding a hearing with the franchise operators.

"The last thing we want to do is have people lose their jobs," Gunier said. "What we want as an ultimate outcome is to get this resolved so they can continue to operate."

Once the restaurants are ready for reinspection, the Health Department will re-evaluate the violations.

"It's up to them how quickly they get reopened," Gunier said.

Supervising editor is Jacob Kirn.

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