FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) - The Allen County Health Department has temporarily closed nearly 10 restaurants already this year due to pest issues. In fact, two were forced to shut down just this week. So, what gives?
Health Department officials say there could be many reasons why they’ve gotten more complaints and closed more restaurants than normal. But, they believe the biggest contributing factor to all of this is something new they’re doing.
Since November, red signs have been posted on doors of restaurants closed down by the Health Department. On it lists the violations. Which is helping educate the public, and may be the reason why they’re catching more pest problems.
“We’ve seen more awareness I think which has brought a little more complaints than what we normally see on a daily basis,” Fort Wayne-Allen County Health Department official Ann Applegate said.
Health Department officials say some other factors for the increase might be the weather we’ve had lately paired with how easy it is to go online and submit complaints anonymously.
“We’re a public health department. We serve the citizens of Allen County. So, we want them to make us aware if we don’t know of a situation.”
Health inspectors closed down Naked Tchopstix and Lakeside Cafe this because they found cockroaches. Naked Tchopstix has since re-opened. Officials say they found the pest problem thanks to consumer complaints.
“If we have any live pests in a facility, then we do decide it’s time to close and ensure that they are getting rid of any live pests because they carry diseases, and we want to protect the health of the public.”
So, is it safe to dine at a restaurant after it’s been allowed to re-open?
“We ensure that everything is corrected before we allow them to resume operations. We also continue to follow up with them. So, as long as the operator continues to do the same practices that got them re-opened, then I would say yes. Absolutely.”
If you see something out of place at a restaurant, health officials ask you to let them know. File a complaint by calling their office at (260) 449-7562 or fill one out here.