A Champaign restaurant received one of the worst health inspection scores on record after inspectors found dried meat and blood on its wall in April.
Inspectors closed Ichiban Buffet, located at 105 N. Mattis Avenue in Champaign, after it received a -56 out of 100 on its April 27 health inspection.
The restaurant was one of seven the health district shut down since February. Seven other restaurants failed inspections. Champaign-Urbana Public Health District officials inspected more than 450 food establishments between Feb. 1, 2015 and May 31, 2015.
The health district closes restaurants if they pose an “immediate risk” to the public health or receive a score below zero. Additionally, restaurants fail if they receive a score between 0 and 35.
Ichiban Buffet received twelve other critical violations including citations for moldy vegetables and a live cockroach that crawled onto the wall during the inspection.
While it was closed, the restaurant applied for reinspection and was turned down twice. The restaurant did not cite enough corrective actions in their plan of action and did not submit proof of pest control or a Food Handler Certification, according to its closure notice.
On May 4, the health district allowed Ichiban Buffet to reopen after it passed its inspection with an adjusted score of 89 and received a green “satisfactory compliance” placard.
Ichiban Buffet did not return calls for comment.
Health inspectors also shut down Cravings, 603 S. Wright St. in Champaign, for seven critical violations including foods stored at unsafe temperatures.
On March 24, the restaurant received a score of 26 out of 100. After health inspectors found repeat risk factors in a March 30 reinspection, they closed it down for repeated violations.
Since 2009, Cravings has failed nine health inspections.
As part of its corrective action plan, Cravings noted it would reduce its menu and hours of operation so there would be more time for restaurant upkeep.
The restaurant passed its second reinspection on April 3 with and adjusted score of 87 and its permit was reinstated.
Attempts to speak with employees at Cravings were unsuccessful.
The health district also closed down Home Town Buffet No. 793, located at 2306 N. Prospect, for repeat risk factors on a reinspection after its initial failure.
“We corrected the issues immediately on the risk factors we had and the rest we’ve been correcting as we go,” said Jeffrey Challacombe, Home Town Buffet manager prior to the restaurant’s closure.
Inspectors initially cited the restaurant on April 14 for five critical violations including sewage wastewater on the floor drain, employees not washing hands after touching cellphones and food stored at unsafe temperatures.
The health district closed the restaurant during its reinspection on May 19 and reopened it after it received an adjusted score of 70 on its May 22 inspection.
Restaurant inspection reports are available on the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District website under “food inspection reports.” The district does not make closure notices available to the public without a Freedom of Information Act request. CU-CitizenAccess.org requests these documents.
Visit CU-CitizenAccess.org’s restaurant app to read full inspection reports.
Additional closures include:
Garcia’s Pizza in a Pan, 313 N. Mattis Avenue, Champaign
The restaurant was inspected on Feb. 9 and received an adjusted score of six with eight critical violations including margarine “contaminated with brown fluid.”
Inspectors found a repeat risk factor on its March 11 reinspection and shut down the restaurant.
The health district reopened the restaurant and removed its red “closure” placard on March 13.
First Wok, 1815 S. Philo Road, Urbana
First Wok initially failed its health inspection on Feb. 24 with an adjusted score of 9 and seven critical violations including employees observed washing dishes without sanitizing them.
On its March 10 reinspection, the restaurant received an adjusted score of 22 with five critical violations including drain flies observed in the dry storage racks and dish areas. There were several repeat risk factors and the health district shut the restaurant down. The restaurant reopened after it scored an 87 on its March 16 inspection.
El Toro II, 723 S. Neil St., Champaign
The health district shut down El Toro II after it received score of -12 out of 100 on its April 15 health inspection.
Its red closure notice was taken down and its permit was reinstated on April 16, after it received an adjusted score of 84 on its reinspection.
Siam Terrace, 212 W. Main St., Urbana
Siam Terrace initially failed its health inspection with an adjusted score of 27 on May 4. It was cited for five critical violations including cooked chicken in a colander sitting in a dirty sink.
During its reinspection on May 6, inspectors found several risk factors and shut the restaurant down. It was reopened on May 7 after receiving an adjusted score of 94 on its inspection.
Additional failures include:
County Market (Deli), 1914 Glenn Park Drive, Champaign
Inspected on Feb. 10 with an adjusted score of 18 and five critical violations including food stored at unsafe temperatures and a sanitizing cloth in direct contact with single service containers.
The deli passed its reinspection on Feb. 13 with an adjusted score of 99.
Hot Wok Express, 1102 W. University Avenue, Urbana
Inspected on Feb. 12 with an adjusted score of 22 and eight critical violations including food stored at unsafe temperatures.
The restaurant passed its reinspection on Feb. 20 with an adjusted score of 78.
El Toro of Rantoul, 1668 E. Grove Avenue, Rantoul
Inspected on Feb. 15 with an adjusted score of 34 and five critical violations including a broken kitchen sink and a cook wiping his hands on a dirty cloth and then touching food without washing his hands.
The restaurant passed its reinspection on Feb. 26 with an adjusted score of 60.
Mahomet Family Restaurant, 1002 Commercial Drive, Mahomet
Inspected on Feb. 26 with an adjusted score of 14 and eight critical violations including a chemical spray bottle stored on the cook’s line and opened lunch meats without a dates on them.
The restaurant was inspected on March 26 and passed with an adjusted score of 71.
Mandarin Wok, 403 ½ E. Green St., Champaign
Inspected on March 17 with an adjusted score of 28 and five critical violations including rodent droppings found under the shelves of the dry storeroom. The inspector noted that Terminex had been to the restaurant earlier in the day, but “no specifics about treatment were available.”
The restaurant passed its reinspection with an adjusted score of 86 on April 2.
Penn Station East Coast Subs, 605 S. Sixth St., Champaign
Inspected on March 27 with an adjusted score of 32 and five critical violations including fries being served that were cooked the day before and an employee cleaning a meat slicer with sanitizer that was too strong.
The restaurant passed its reinspection with an adjusted score of 92 on March 31.
Espresso Royale at Illini Union, 1401 W. Green Street, Urbana
Inspected on March 24 with an adjusted score of 18 and six critical violations including drain flies “too numerous to count” throughout the coffee shop and no Food Service Certified manager on site.
The coffee shop passed its reinspection on April 7 with an adjusted score of 76.
Espresso Royale permanently closed on May 26 because its contract expired at the end of the month, according to Lori Holmes, Illini Union Retail Services Coordinator.
Starbucks in scheduled to take its place in the Illini Union this fall.
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