BURBANK VILLAGE -- A tip from a customer that rat droppings were seen
in Bobby McGee's restaurant has led to its permanent closure, a county
health official said Tuesday.
The restaurant was closed down on Dec. 7 during an inspection based on
a customer complaint that rodent droppings were seen in the dining area,
said Mike Spear, a county health department director.
"Not only was a live rat found on the premises, which was injured in
some matter, but numerous droppings were found in the food, equipment and
on the floors," Spear said. "They found rodent droppings in bulk onions,
the salad station area, in bread mix, bread crumbs, croutons, red onions,
on the floor, in the equipment and in the customer area."
After a hearing on Dec. 9 about the rodent problem, Spear said he was
contacted by restaurant officials that Bobby McGee's was going to close
Spear said he had asked restaurant officials at the hearing why the
obvious problems were not fixed.
"They said they were using a pest control service," he said. "They
should have taken the steps necessary -- even close down for a few days
-- so that the problem and the rodents were killed and that the entry
point was found and sealed."
Messages left Tuesday at Performance Restaurant Group, the
Phoenix-based corporation that owns Bobby McGee's, for comment on the
closure were not returned.
Spear said the Dec. 9 hearing was to consider if the county should
revoke the restaurants health permit since it was the second closure in a
year due to rodent infestation.
On Oct. 13, Spear said the restaurant shut down for two days after
evidence of rodent infestation was found. At a hearing two days later,
the restaurant was allowed to reopen because they claimed that an
exterminator had been there and that some rodent proofing had taken
place, he said.
"This time, this was going to be a determination to revoke the permit
because they allowed it a second time," Spear said.
Spear said he continued last week's hearing so that he could go to the
restaurant and see the problems firsthand.
"I didn't have to," he said. "They called and said they were going out
Spear said that rodent infestation poses a great risk to people's
health including the possibility of contracting a disease that has a
tendency to attack the liver.
"You don't want to consume food that's contaminated with fecal
matter," he said. "Even if there was no disease in the rats, people
expect clean, wholesome food served to them."