TOLEDO (WTVG) -- If someone files a complaint about a restaurant with the health department, a sanitarian will come check it out. Recently, two restaurants ended up temporarily closing.
Both of those closures were voluntary, meaning the health department did not suspend the operating license or force the establishment to shut down.
The first voluntary closure was at Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, 3214 Secor Rd, Toledo, OH 43606. Last month, customers reported seeing cockroaches. So, the health department took a closer look.
After a sanitarian also spotted roaches, this Popeyes voluntarily closed for cleaning - twice. It now has the all-clear from the health department.
See previous coverage of Popeyes here: Popeye's on Secor closes again, undergoing new inspection
A more recent voluntary closure happened at New Rice King, 1512 Broadway St, Toledo, OH 43609. A picture of a cockroach posted to social media caught the attention of the health department, prompting a complaint inspection.
During that inspection 5-Sep-2019, the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department noted:
X Live cockroaches behind the refrigerator.
X A large dead cockroach underneath a storage shelf.
X Mice dropping underneath the prep table.
In response, a spokesperson for New Rice King texted 13abc:
" ... we have hired a new company - Terminex to help us (eliminate) the pest control problem, they did a very throughout (sic) spraying and cleaning for us. Health department did their inspection and Sept 11 and they are happy with all the improvements. We are reopened now, and looking forward we will work close with Terminex, making sure this won't happen again."
"You know, we're only in those restaurants one to two times a year. It's nice to be able to get other people to let us know what's going on," says Dave Welch, Director of Environmental Health at the Toledo-Lucas Co. Health Dept.
Welch explains every complaint is inspected within 24 to 48 hours. If a restaurant voluntarily closes, that restaurant can voluntarily reopen without a green light from the health department. However, both Popeyes and New Rice King contacted the health department before reopening.
Sanitarians say both restaurants are now in the clear.
"Yeah, they did a nice job," Welch said, in reference to New Rice King.
"They really cleaned it up real well. I talked to the sanitarian this morning. They took it seriously, cleaned up and they're ready to go back."
If you have a complaint about a restaurant, you can contact your local health department or you can contact 13abc at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 419-534-3858. We will be sure to pass your complaint to the health department for an inspection.