Health department temporarily shuts down 2 restaurants

DRAPER, Utah — There wasn’t a customer in sight at Aroma Fine Indian Cuisine on Wednesday, where the open sign had to change to a temporarily closed one.

“They just close it because my refrigerator is not working right. So, as soon as fixed we can open right away,” said Roma Obeid, owner of the Draper restaurant.

She can attribute her slow work week to the busy one health inspectors have had the last few days.

The Salt Lake County Health Department slapped Obeid’s eatery, as well as Amici in Cottonwood Heights, with a slew of health code violations, forcing both to temporarily close this week.

At Aroma, they found 11 violations, which included a lack of proper, working cold holding units.

“We’ve been in the business 8 years, and we know what we’re doing,” Obeid said.

Just the day before, inspectors found Amici had 17 violations. The restaurant’s owner refused to comment on this story.

According to Food Protection Bureau Manager, Jeffrey Oaks, the health department shuts down about 40 restaurants, temporarily, per year.

“Anytime there is a closure of a restaurant I think it’s significant because there is a facility out there that has not been operating according to the food safety standards that they should,” Oaks said.

But with just 16 inspectors overseeing 4,000 establishments within the county, determining which restaurants are violating codes doesn’t always happen quickly.

“I don’t think they’re slipping through the cracks,” Oaks said. “It’s just maybe they’re not being seen as often as we’d like to see them.”

For instance, inspection records show that prior to February of 2014, Aroma had not been inspected since December of 2012, something that Oaks believed could be attributed to a back log of work their inspectors have.

“It just requires a lot more work,” Oaks said. “And sometimes it requires us to maybe have to assess the risk of each establishment and determine which one we have to put our efforts into more.”

Following a second inspection on Wednesday, both Amici and Aroma were allowed to reopen.

Their full list of violations can be found below. If you would like to review the inspection history of other restaurants in the county, click here.

Amici:

  • The facility was operating in an addition to the facility that was not approved by the health department.
  • There is no certified/registered food safety manager.
  • Not all food employees have a current food handler card.
  • There is no hand wash sink convenient and accessible to the ware-wash area.
  • Employee’s beverages are not separated from food preparation areas.
  • Cooked eggplant is being held at 47 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Food is being stored in non-food grade containers.
  • Potentially hazardous and ready-to-eat foods that are prepared on-site and held for more than 24 hours are not date-marked.
  • The interior of the microwave is unclean.
  • Clean equipment is not covered to protect it from contamination.
  • Single-service items are not stored to protect them from contamination.
  • The ceiling above the ware-wash machine and the food preparation table, various wall and floor surfaces are not smooth, durable, easily cleanable and non-absorbent.
  • Exposed structure ventilation ducting below the ceiling is not smooth and easily cleanable.
  • Various surfaces are lined with aluminum foil, and linens.
  • Cabinetry is not smooth, easily cleanable and non-absorbent.
  • Non-food contact surfaces of equipment are made of unsealed wood.
  • The three compartment sink and mop sink, are not sealed to the adjacent walls.
  • The mop is not hung to air dry.

Aroma Fine Indian Cuisine

  • The restaurant does not have working cold holding units.
  • Raw meats are being held at 64 degrees Fahrenheit in the reach-in cooler.
  • Sauces are being held at 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Cooked rice is being held at room temperature at 62 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Cooked meats are being held in the refrigerator at 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Potentially hazardous food is being cooled in deep and covered containers.

11 comments

  • Shutem'down

    Not keeping food in correct temps for storage is nasty and very unsafe and could kill someone. The list that both of these places are in violation of is completely unacceptable., foul, and unforgivable. Hopefully it’s not temporary, and both of these disease incubators are permanently shut down.

  • Casey

    So if you’ll notice, all of the “violations” are in regards to food not being cooled. But the sad thing is that the news doesn’t tell you the whole story. We go to this restaurant 2-3 times per week for the past 8 years and have NEVER once gotten sick. In fact, we went there tonight and spoke with Roma who said that she called the health department on Wednesday because she was concerned that the cooler was not working properly. She called them for ADVICE as to what to do because her husband (and business partner) is out of the country. The health department advised her to shut the restaurant down Wednesday night until the cooler could be fixed. But of course had to make a mandatory visit because of the call, which they found the cooler to not be working. Wow big surprise because that is why she called in the first place! This is just another case of the news taking something and blowing it way out of proportion for ratings.

    As for myself I will continue going to Aroma Fine Indian Cuisine because it truly is the best in the state (as the awards they have won for the past two years show!) And I hope that all of you do the same. I have seen their kitchen myself and know that they hold to only the highest standards. I have never once been concerned about my health when eating there. This is a hard working family that is trying to make a living and it is truly sad that the media is allowed to turn a simple thing into such a huge misunderstanding. My heart goes out to them!

  • Adam

    I am a loyal customer at Aroma Fine Indian and I eat there at least 2-3 times a week, I have been frequently going for six years and never have had any disturbance from the quality of the food, in fact the ingredients are 80% organic. I spoke to Roma(the owner) about the statements fox had made such as not having an inspection for the years of 2012-2013. She expressed her frustration about all the false information and quickly showed paperwork and records of inspections and license renewal for those years. Her and I also noticed how Fox News did not accurately spell her last name.How credible can Fox News really be if they can’t even get her name correct. Aroma has been open and successful for 8 years and they serve fresh and organic food which our community NEEDS to keep.

  • Loyal customer

    I am sorry but if they were making people sick all of the time the CUSTOMERS would shut them down by not going to the restaurant. I feel safer eating there then at some fast food junk place putting plastic in my food!!!

  • KB

    How is it that Amici got a business license and was able to open its doors without several of the health dept. requirements. Sounds to me like someone in the licensing dept. is slacking. Amici’s food is excellent. Have never gotten sick nor has anyone I have known. How did they open without a “sink”, “food handlers card” “food safety manager”!!! The owners of Amici took a neighborhood eyesore and made it into a neighborhood gem! When we leave there we say CIAO CIAO…until next time, see you soon!

  • sonia hajiani

    Went to McDonald’s about 30 to 45 minutes ago, to get my little brother a happy meal with orange juice so he dosent get sodas all the time, unhealthy, the lady toom extremely long and was extremely rude mand very unprofessional and got home and found outnfood was stillnuncooked and juice had a part of the machine in it which started falling apart once I pulled it out, called the store to get the ladys nqme who srved me and instead got a hold of the manager named xavier I asked for the name and he refused to give it to me andi mentiond the occurance of this horrifying incident which made my brother puke , I threatned to call corp if I didn’t get the nameand he said I can call who I want and hung up on me, I called corporate and left a message . Not satisfied at all and would like to take serious action asap, yhis is a health hazard and my brother is only 9, I am extremely unhappy…., help please.

  • Loyal custom

    Loyal custom @ aroma we been @ aroma so many time a week never never get any bad experience because there food is cooked Fresh every day and night health deportment and fox new make a big deal one thing cooling unit is not working but what about Mc Donald and other big Restaurants they can not do any thing so it’s bad rule of the wold is big fish only eat small fish if health department really care about people’s health they should worried about big fish because the small business spend there whole life to be successful they work hard labor work because it’s bread and butter for there kids sorry to say that some body should fix these people for the wrong information

  • Zafar iqbal

    Well,i am regular customer of aroma, my kids love to eat there,i can say it is my family resturant.we found it is the best in the town.i travell 25 miles to go to aroma once a week for family dinner.no question about their food quailty and service.
    Great food with great customer service….

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