Health inspection report: How do local restaurants fare? - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Health inspection report: How do local restaurants fare?

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GRAYSON COUNTY -- Your health and your safety is why inspectors make surprise visits to restaurants every day.

While most local businesses pass inspection with no problem, some show quite a bit of room for improvement.

The owner of a convenience store called City Mart, located on FM 1417 in Sherman, says she knows the place has a rodent problem.

She showed KTEN around the store when we asked about a recent inspection by the Grayson County Health Department.

According to the health department, City Mart and another convenience store called Lucky Stop, located on Texoma Parkway, are the two Grayson County businesses that failed their recent random inspection, something Amanda Ortez says is difficult to do.

"It's hard for an establishment to get an F-rating," she said.

Ortez is the manager of environmental health services at the Grayson County Health Department.

She says its inspections are always unannounced and that there are dozens of factors that go into the "A-F" grade a restaurant is given.

"It's of utmost importance for these operators to maintain cleanliness, and of course always proper temperatures, cold holding or hot holding," she said.

Laser thermometers allow inspectors to take the temperature of almost any surface inside a kitchen.

Ortez says storing food at the proper temperature is key to keeping customers from getting sick.

"We want to eliminate the risk of a food bourne illness," she said. "For a consumer that comes through a restaurant, they're a paying customer, they don't want to pay, in addition, to become sick."

According to the CDC, one in six Americans comes down with a food bourne illness each year.

While most of the 660 establishments the department inspects each year receives and "A" rating, others fall quite a few grades short.

An April inspection of City Mart shows rodent-droppings were "observed within the cabinets, under the self-service station."

That's where we found them during our visit to the store.

Rodent droppings were also found inside Lucky Stop. In fact, during the store's November inspection, the health department's report shows a mouse ran across the inspectors' foot.

KTEN asked the owners of Lucky Stop for comment. While no one wanted to speak with us on-camera, managers say they've made some improvements since receiving a failing grade.

Those improvements earned the store a "C" during a mandatory follow-up inspection. Ortez says restaurants that get an "F" grade are re-inspected within 30 days of the initial report.

But the health department points out there was still evidence of a rodent problem.

"Rodents can actually transmit disease if they come in contact with food surfaces," Ortez said.

The owner of City Mart says some improvements have been made since the store failed its inspection in April.

Some paper products are now being stored on a shelf and the bathroom has been stocked with hand soap and paper towels.

The owner says an appointment with a pest control company is scheduled for next week.

If you'd like to check out how your favorite restaurant ranks, the inspections are made public by the Grayson County Health Department.