Food & Drink

Lacey buffet ordered closed after failing restaurant inspection

A Lacey buffet was ordered temporarily closed by the county last week after failing a restaurant inspection.

Super Buffet on Galaxy Drive Northeast in Lacey was cited for failing to manage food safety risk factors and other violations during an Oct. 9 inspection. It was ordered to close for 48 hours for staff training and maintenance.

A Super Buffet manager did not immediately respond to request for comment.

The county inspects about 1,000 food establishments and closes a handful each year due to violations. The 48-hour closure is a new policy inspectors are trying when an inspection racks up more than 100 red points, said Sammy Berg, senior environmental health specialist for Thurston County.

Red points are for violations most likely to cause food-borne illnesses. Super Buffet had 115 red points.

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“From our perspective, there’s no real managerial control, and the things we find don’t leave us with confidence that things will get fixed,” Berg said. “This many points means there’s systemic (problems) we need to address.”

Previously closures were based on repeat violations and didn’t specify when a restaurant could reopen. The new policy is meant to provide more consistency in enforcement, Berg said.

Super Buffet was allowed to reopen last week. The Oct. 11 re-inspection report said hand washing, food storage and food heating and cooling practices had all been corrected and that people in charge “demonstrated knowledge of food safety and food handling practices.”

The sushi bar was ordered to remain closed based on violations there. Berg said inspectors would be back this week and next week.