Complaint sparks inspection at Columbia restaurant

Olive Garden: We will retrain the team

Behind the kitchen door Olive Garden

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Olive Garden in Columbia has been cited with the most violations of any eatery from the Columbia/Boone County Public Health Department since May 22.

A customer complaint prompted an inspection of Olive Garden on May 23.

The restaurant received eight violations during that inspection. It was cited for dirty dishes put away as clean, a dirty pasta cooker and food preparation area and a hole in the wall, among others.

Olive Garden's corporate office sent ABC 17 News the following statement when asked about the recent inspection report:


"We take the responsibility of running a clean and safe restaurant seriously, and these results did not live up to our high standards. That's why we are working with the Health Department, and we are taking immediate steps to fully retrain our entire team on our strict food safety policies and procedures." - Olive Garden Corporate Office

The health department did not set up a follow-up inspection for Olive Garden, which means the restaurant was able to correct its critical violations on the spot. This same procedure is followed for all Boone County eateries.

Scott Clardy, assistant director of the Columbia/Boone County Public Health Department, told ABC 17 News the department takes every complaint seriously and follows up on complaints with an inspection. He urges community members to let the health department know of any complaints.

Restaurants inspected this month: 

Olive Garden: 5/23 - The inspector said this inspection started because of a complaint about the cleanliness of the restaurant.

  • One critical violation: Soiled dishes were put away as clean.
  • Seven non-critical violations: Soiled cooler, pasta cooker, flat top, stove top and salad preparation area, a hole in a wall, ice accumulation in a freezer, sanitizing rags were not stored in sanitizing buckets, dishes were not air dried before being stacked, missing pieces to fryers and ice machines.

Moser's: 5/30, re-inspection scheduled for 6/5

  • Four critical violations: Items requiring refrigeration were not in the refrigerator, raw fish stored next to raw chicken, chemicals stored next to food items and dented cans, which the inspection note said the establishment threw away while the inspector was still there.
  • One non-critical violation: Broken bottles in a beer cooler.

Shakespeare's Pizza (West): 5/30, follow-up inspection completed on 6/4 showed all critical violations below were fixed. 

  • Three critical violations: Ice guard on an ice machine has mold, ice build-up on a cooler, a cooler was reading a higher temperature than mandated.

Sports Zone: 5/30

  • One critical violation: Temperatures inside a cooler were too high - cut melon was thrown away.
  • Two non-critical violations: Mold in the top and side of the ice machine (the inspection note said this was not in direct contact with ice) and some coolers were missing thermometers.

Walmart (Grindstone): 5/30

  • One critical violation: Dented cans for sale, the inspection note said all the dented cans found were pulled from sale and the inspector reviewed the dented can policy with management.
  • Two non-critical violations: Dishes were not air-dried before they were stacked in the baking area and an outlet cover was separated from the wall.

Bamboo Terrace: 5/30

  • Two critical violations: Raw chicken improperly stored above and next to ready-to-eat foods in a cooler and the hand sink was used for dumping items.
  • Two non-critical violations: Soiled food drain and vents have dust accumulation.

Casey's (Sturgeon): 5/29, re-inspection date scheduled for 6/10

  • One critical violation: Hand washing sink was also being used a sink for the mop.
  • One non-critical violation: Ice machine has not been used in more than a year, which the health department classifies as unnecessary to the operation and litter. The health department suggested removing the ice machine and putting in another sink which could be designated for hand washing or mop sink.

Imo's Pizza: 5/29

  • One critical violation: Mold in the ice machine. The inspection note said the inspector discussed placing employee drinks in a designated area and moving frozen food from a small freezer to a deep freezer because, "they are not 100% frozen."

Papa's Cat Cafe: 5/30, re-inspection scheduled for 6/4

  • One critical violation: Slime mold in the ice machine.

Plush Lounge: 5/31, re-inspection scheduled for 6/5

  • One critical violation: Guard in the ice machine has mold build-up.

Breaktime (East Stadium Blvd): 5/29

  • One critical violation: Pizza utensils were not washed, rinsed and sanitized every four hours.

Casey's (Clark Lane): 5/28

  • Inspectors visited Casey's after receiving a complaint that expired items were being sold in the store. The inspection note said the department found several items in the store that were past the sell-by date. The inspector discussed keeping an eye on the dates and removing the items from the shelves to prevent further concerns. Casey's management told the inspector that they will develop a new practice by checking for items past the sell-by date daily.

Eagle Stop (Centralia): 5/22

  • One non-critical violation: Prepackaged sandwiches were not labeled.

Curries (East Business Loop 70): 5/24, all critical violations corrected during follow-up inspection on 5/29 . However, the non-critical violation regarding the manager training was not corrected - the department said it will return on Aug. 13 to check and make sure it was completed.

  • Three critical violations: Food improperly stored in the freezer, raw food stored above ready-to-eat foods and the hand sink was used for other purposes.
  • Three non-critical violations: Clean pots and utensils were stored directly on the floor, window and door were propped open, which allow for pests to enter the establishment and the manager does not have a food certificate.

Los Cuates (Paris Road): 5/30, re-inspection scheduled for 6/3

  • Two critical violations: A cooler was not above the required temperature and the establishment did not have any sanitizer present to sanitize utensils.

Holiday Inn Express: 5/31, re-inspection scheduled for 6/4

  • One critical violation: The establishment did not have any test strips.

Pickleman's (W. Broadway): 5/29

  • One critical violation: Blocked hand washing sink.
  • One non-critical violation: Freezer door does not close (the inspection report said this has to be fixed by the September inspection)

Italian Village: 5/23

  • One critical violation: The establishment did not have any test strips to test chemicals.

Little Caesar's Pizza (W. Broadway): 5/22

  • One critical violation: Weak concentration. 

Mrs. G's: 5/23

  • The inspection note said this is the second time the health department has tried to conduct an inspection during operating and posted business hours, but the business has been closed both times.

Wendy's (Bernadette Drive): 5/28

  • One non-critical violation: Women's restroom does not have a trash can with a lid.

Restaurants without any violations at the time of the inspection:

  • 11Eleven: 5/31
  • 9th Street Public House: 5/29
  • The Big Cheeze: 6/1
  • Cajun Crab House: 5/24 - all violations were corrected from the previous inspection.
  • Camacho Coffee: 5/24
  • Cassava Mama Tortillas: 6/4
  • Casey's (Rangeline Street): 5/28
  • Close to Home Adult Daycare: 5/24
  • Columbia Area Senior Center: 5/28
  • D Dee's Korn Company: 6/1
  • Dashboard Diner: 5/29
  • Eats and Treats: 6/1
  • Fazoli's: 5/22
  • Five Guys Burgers & Fries: 5/22
  • KFC (Buttonwood Drive): 5/31
  • Kona Ice Como: 6/1
  • Med Mex Cafe: 5/31
  • Pickleman's (Old Hwy 63): 5/24, eatery fixed its critical violation from a previous inspection on 5/20.
  • Red Bric Coffee & Cafe: 5/24
  • Taco Bell (S. Providence Road): 5/31
  • The Roof: 5/24
  • The Shot Bar: 5/28, corrected its critical violations from an inspection on 5/17.
  • Tiger Hotel: 5/24, corrected its critical violations from an inspection on 5/17.
  • Tiger Ice: 5/23
  • VFW Post: 5/29
  • Woody's Pub & Grub: 5/23, corrected its critical violations from an inspection on 5/16.

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