Health Inspectors To Restaurants: Clean Up Or Pay Up
When it's lunch time at Stanley's Bar-B-Que, for Nick Pencis, the owner and manager, it's business as usual.
"I take great pride in what we do and I'm happy with what we do," he said. "I love what we do, and I want to present that to people with love."
Pencis said Stanley's, a KLTV 7 Blue Ribbon Restaurant, is not just about making good food, but also safe food.
But not all restaurants are as clean as Stanley's.
This has prompted county officials to take action.
Brenda Elrod works with the Northeast Texas Public Health District (NETPHD) and says the health district can now fine restaurants for health code violations.
"We would do an inspection, a follow up, we would issue a letter to the owner or the person in charge, saying these are serious violations," she said. "If they're repetitive violations, and if they're not corrected, then an administrative penalty can be assessed."
Starting October 1, things such as too many insects or rodents, improper food temperatures, bare hand contact and sanitation will be judged on a five-point scale, with five being the worst.
And depending on the rating, restaurants could face a fine of up to $500 every day, until the violation is taken care of.
"The idea is to give them a process, an educational process, where we don't reach the administrative penalty," said Elrod.
Nick Pencis agreed.
"It comes down to training and being knowledgeable of what's expected of your responsibility of serving the public," he said.
A responsibility that keeps the public coming back for more.