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Como’s Closes as County Upholds License Revocation

Como’s Closes as County Upholds License Revocation

(Crystal A. Proxmire, Sept. 20, 2017)

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Ferndale, MI – The Food Service Appeal Board voted Wednesday to uphold the revocation of Como’s Restaurant’s license due to ongoing issues with food safety violations.

The restaurant, located at 9 Mile and Woodward in Ferndale, must close by noon today (Wednesday) and will have to re-apply with a license once a series of conditions has been met.  Among the conditions are daily cleaning logs, daily food temperature logs, food inventories with expiration and discard dates, and increased certified managers on duty.

Another requirement was that all seafood and whole muscle beef and pork be pre-cooked or prepared from frozen. They must also demonstrate working with a licensed pest control company.

Como’s attorney Gerald Gleeson of Miller Canfield offered that the restaurant would reduce their menu to pizza, salad and soup, and that they would reduce their hours by closing at midnight during the week and 2:30am on the weekends.  These suggestions were not adopted as requirements of re-opening, but remain part of the long-term plan.

“Como’s is absolutely committed to food safety, and we will go back to doing what Como’s does best, which is pizza,” Gleeson said.  He added that once they re-open they will invite members of the public and the media to tour the facility.  “We appreciate that the Health Department and the Food Safety Board are clearly interested in the same things we are.”

During the hearing, Gleeson and manager George Grego  argued that ongoing problems such as serving expired food, repeat violations of soiled surfaces and equipment not working, and hand-washing sinks being inaccessible, were the result of not being able to find quality employees and of “human error.”

“Are you aware of the increase of restaurants in the area [that] has reduced the number of quality employees,” Gleeson said.  He added that the Chef was fired on Tuesday, and a consultant for the restaurant said that staff has been reduced from 35 to 17 people because of quality issues.

Como’s has a history of closure in recent years.  In 2015 they were closed temporarily to do a liquor license suspension, and in 2106 their license from the health department was revoked for ongoing violations.  Details of the 2016 closure can be found HERE. And details of the 2017 closure can be found HERE.

Commissioner Dave Woodward, who represents Royal Oak and Berkley was among those on the board that voted unanimously to revoke the license.  “This is extremely painful for me. Como’s is a staple for me,” he said.  He said he was “shocked” when the first series of violations came to light and that things were not fixed after having gone through that first closure. “Finding good help is hard, but it’s not an excuse. Thank God no one has died or gotten super sick, that we know of… We don’t shut down restaurants regularly in this county,” Woodward said.

Gleeson said he believes the restaurant can be brought into compliance “within a couple of days,” and that they will reopen within a week.

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