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Dirty Dining: Local restaurants face fines for failed inspections

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The latest round of health code violations forced some restaurants to shut down and face hefty fines. The FOX59 Dirty Dining team combed through dozens of inspection reports and found some of the most alarming cases.

During the holiday season, the Marion County Health Department fined nearly 80 restaurants.

We stopped by Burmese Restaurant, 7040 Madison Avenue, which received 11 critical and 22 non-critical violations on December 1. The inspector gave the eatery a $500 fine and forced the owners to shut down until they addressed all the issues.

According to health inspection records, violations included walls and floors were heavily soiled, dirty coolers, bags of food on the ground, and old cutting boards on top of grease traps. A “cease of operations” was issued due to excessive repeat violations.

One of the owners, Bawi Sang, said they took immediate action.

“They came in and we just clean everything,” Sang said. “We throw away everything.”

He said they brought in a professional cleaning company to deal with any soiled surfaces. They also bought new equipment to replace a homemade accordion plastic tube that was being used for water drainage.

Sang and his wife showed us around their kitchen so we could see the current conditions.

“Just only one day we closed for,” Sang said. “They checked everything and said OK you can open.”

Most of the violations were corrected when the inspector returned on December 2.

Next, we went to the northeast side to O’Charley’s, located at 7640 N. Shadeland Ave. The inspector reported 12 critical and 15 non-critical violations at this chain restaurant on November 2. The restaurant was required to pay a $350 fine.

The inspection report details issues with the line cook preparing salad entrees with bare hands, employees not washing their hands, the reach in cooler soiled with mold and potentially hazardous foods not stored at the proper temperatures.

We reached out to the O’Charley’s corporate office for a response to these findings. David Ellis, the VP of Marketing, sent us this statement:

“O’Charley’s is dedicated to providing quality food to our guests. Since these scores were given in November, we have already begun to address these issues. We use an independent third party to evaluate our safety and health standards and are making immediate adjustments to our procedures as needed. O’Charley’s values the safety of our guests and upholds all of our restaurants to specific standards.”

All but one of the violations were corrected by the recheck a week later.

Finally, we stopped by Hoosier Grill, 2989 W. 71st St., which got 17 critical and 28 non-critical violations on December 14. The inspector issued a $300 fine.

Employees at Hoosier Grill could not put us in contact with the owner or manager. They told FOX59 the person in charge would be back in a few days.  We reached out through Facebook messages and phone calls, but have not heard back.

Violations at Hoosier Grill consisted of things like the manager handling the cash register and then serving customers without washing his hands. The inspector’s report also says trash bags were being used to cover open cans of cheese, to-go containers were stored on the floor, grease build up on the walls and floors. Plus, paint and toxic chemicals were stored in the kitchen.

Public health records show Hoosier Grill has yet to pass an inspection.

To view the rest of the Marion Co. restaurant citations, click here. (Note: clicking the link will download a spreadsheet containing the citations to your computer.)