Public Awareness Leading to More Restaurant Busts


Published 02/25 2014 11:10PM

Updated 02/26 2014 08:22AM

Allen County health officials have closed three more local restaurants since yesterday- all due to problems with cockroaches.

That makes fourteen restaurants since the start of the year.

WFFT spoke with health department officials today to find out why there's been so many this year.

Here outside of the Mandarin restaurant on Stellhorn- closed since this afternoon.

Down the street, Dicky's Wild Hare, also closed by the health department today.

Asakusa on Lima Road reopened earlier today, after being closed last night.

Those three the latest restaurants in the county not making the grade.

"Yea, I've had where I've had to make a call to the health department about having some bugs in my food there,” says Todd Jedinak.

Jedinak says he used to be a regular at Mandarin in Fort Wayne.

"It's definitely good food, but the way the kitchen area is back there, you can tell that it's not maintained in the best way,” Jedinak says.

The Allen County Department of Health shut it down today, along with Dicky's Wild Hare on Maplecrest- citing problems with cockroaches.

They bring the number of restaurants closed this year to fourteen.

Tara Storch says she worked in a health department in another state and they would post inspection grades in the front windows of restaurants.

"They post the grade right on the door that allows the public, whoever's entering that building, to know that they were just graded,” Storch says.

Here in Allen County, they don't do that.

"I think that's what's been happening recently is we have started to post a notice of closure sign outside of our establishments when we actually close a facility. It's not a highly uncommon thing for us to find pests and have to have an establishment cease operation,” says Allen County Department of Health Director of Food and Consumer Protection Services Ann Applegate.

Applegate says it's why there have been more closures this year.

"And in addition to that sign being posted, and the heightened awareness, we are receiving a higher number of complaints about pests inside of facilities, which i think has led to, in part, all of these closures that we've been seeing,” Applegate says.

Down the road at the Casa Grille, Chef Alan Tholen says they clean and disassemble all equipment daily, do weekly inspections, and contract with a bug company to keep bugs, like cockroaches, from ever getting inside.

"Every night we pull things away from the wall, let me show you... Everything gets pulled out, everything gets cleaned underneath each piece of equipment,” Tholen says.

Applegate says all the inspection grades are posted on the health department web site, and people say they'll be looking.

"I would definitely check the website first. I would see what other people are saying about it,” says Kevin Barnett.

If you see anything at a restaurant, Applegate says they want you to report it to them.

You can do that on their web site-

Or by phone at 260-449-7562

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