Como’s Facing Closure Again After Months of Health Violations

Como’s Facing Closure Again After Months of Health Violations

(Crystal A. Proxmire, Sept. 2, 2017)

Ferndale, MI – Less than a year after opening back up after being shut down by the Oakland County Health Division, Como’s Restaurant is facing closure once again for multiple health code violations.

On Aug. 22, 2017 Como’s was officially informed that their license was revoked. They remain open pending an appeal.

According to a letter from the health department, since the license was previously revoked on Sept. 21, 2016 and a new food service license issued October 21, 2016, “inspections have continued to reveal a lack of active managerial control which has been demonstrated by the facility’ inability to maintain compliance with food safety standards and practices.”

Inspection reports obtained by Oakland County 115 News through a Freedom of Information Act request at the time of the first closure showed ongoing problems including improper food storage, lack of hand-washing access or supplies, flies and fly tape hanging over food prep areas, smoking inside food prep areas, expired food being served, dishes being sent through dishwasher without soap or sanitizer, and sewage dripping onto sleeves of to-go cups.

Prior to that, in 2015, Como’s closed temporarily due to liquor license violations, which was not though Oakland County Health Division, but through Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

The Health Division reports for this year have had some repeat violations. Reports were requested from March 31-Aug. 31, 2017 through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

On March 31 the inspector reported multiple offenses, including:

-Several spoiled heads of lettuce

-Raw ground beef stored over cooked ground beef

-Improper date marking for pastas, vegetable lasagna, meat sauce, Alfredo sauce, tomato sauce, and tiramisu, and no date mark on open milk, mashed potatoes and varies cooked pastas

-Soiled knife, slicer and buffalo chopper

-Unapproved fly strip hanging under the dish machine drain board

-Dirty floors and drain

On April 27, 2017 a letter was sent to Como’s owner Antoinette Greco from the Health Division, stating that “routine inspections have shown a gradual decline in food safety awareness at the facility…Violations that were documented before the revocation of the food service licenses and corrected before re-opening have reappeared, some as repeated violations.”

The letter stated that a meeting scheduled with manager George Greco did not happen, with Greco cancelling the morning of, stating that “no one would be available for the meeting.”

The letter also stated that plans for outdoor seating at the restaurant would be put on hold until approval was granted.

On May 31 an inspection revealed soiled floors, drains and equipment.

On July 1 Como’s was granted approval to open the outdoor seating.

On July 21 there were multiple violations including:

-Buttermilk (3 half gallons) expired past the manufactures use date

-Raw beef over cooked beef.

-Raw beef over carrots and bread.

-Measured several items between 52-55 F when the requirement is 41 F: milk, creamer, buttermilk, whipping cream, cheese, sour cream, ricotta, pepperoni and ham

-Items in the reach in coolers still in use past the use by date: Capicola salami, salsa, and house made blue cheese

-Produce walk in cooler at temperature of 55 F when requirement is 41 F

On July 27 the inspection showed:

-Expired heavy whipping cream still in use

-Dented cans of artichokes and red peppers

-Measured final chemical rinse at dish machine at 0 ppm for chlorine sanitizer

-Soiled can opener blade and several knifes

-Chemical container stored next to bar utensils at main bar

-Unapproved Dichlorvos pest strip under the dining area wait station ice bin

-Unapproved Ace wasp spray in the basement

-Employee drinks stored next to clean food equipment at the dish area and over food at cook line

-Employee cleaning dishes with no hair restraint

-Uncovered ice bin at outside patio bar

-Rear door propped oven allowing pest entry

-Dozens of dead fruit flies under the dining area wait station ice bin

-Soiled floors and equipment

And on Aug. 22 Oakland County Health Division informed Como’s via certified mail that their license is revoked. Como’s had seven days to appeal the revocation, and remains open pending that hearing. A date has not yet been set.

Como’s did not return request for comment, but this story will be updated if they do, and if a closure happens.

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