DULUTH - The Gwinnett County Health Department has closed a restaurant on Pleasant Hill Road after a routine, surprise inspection found food handling violations that posed an imminent health hazard, an official said Thursday.
Super Grand Buffet, located at 1630 Pleasant Hill Road, received an unsatisfactory score of 15 out of 100 during Wednesday's inspection - two points higher than the lowest score in the county, said Vernon Goins, the Health Department spokesman.
An inspection report notes several violations that increased the risk of food-borne illnesses such as salmonella. For example, raw chicken, beef and eggs were stored above prepared foods in coolers, raw chicken and beef were being prepared on the same counter, and raw chicken was being thawed at room temperature instead of under cool, running water or under refrigeration.
In addition, three dead flies were found in soup, and food debris was stuck on knives stored as clean utensils, the report shows.
Goins said the violations were "quite beyond our area of tolerance."
Records indicate the restaurant has a certified food safety manager on staff, he said.
"The results don't speak to that," Goins said. "The message is not getting to the workers. The regulations are doing the public a blessing.
"We regret that this is going to be tough on Super Grand Buffet, but our first obligation is to the dining public," he said.
Before the restaurant can reopen, it must create a plan to correct the violations, Goins said. Furthermore, health inspectors will keep a close eye on the establishment to ensure it is meeting the U.S. Food and Drug Administration guidelines, he said.
No one at the restaurant answered the telephone Thursday afternoon, and a reporter was unable to leave a voice mail message because the inbox was full.
The lowest inspection score - 13 out of 100 - was scored March 4 by Mar y Tierra Family Mexican Restaurant, located at 521 Indian Train Road in Lilburn.
Health inspection reports can be viewed online at www.gwinnetthealth.com.