OMG! Rotisserie on 30-Day Suspension for Department of Health Violations | New
The Athens City and County Health Council held a hearing on Monday afternoon, voting to suspend Athenian restaurant OMG! Rotisserie for 30 days, following several inspections by the Department of Health of the City of Athens (ACCHD).
According to Patrick McGarry, director of environmental health for ACCHD, the hearing was part of standard protocol for the health department. McGarry told the agency that the ACCHD’s procedure is that if there is the same violation after three consecutive inspections, it must go to an administrative hearing. The first hearing for OMG! The rotisserie took place on February 28, 2020, following several inspections.
“At this hearing, we reviewed the violations, their significance and their impact on the health and safety of the general public,” said McGarry.
According to McGarry, at the first hearing, they discussed the various violations and health issues.
On April 29, 2021, ACCHD responded to a complaint at OMG! Roasting pan. McGarry said several violations had been noted, including a “roach infestation.” The restaurant was closed at that time and has not reopened.
McGarry presented two options to Council; the first being a 30-day suspension, during which the owners would deal with violations and submit to a 15-day inspection, or the second option to revoke the restaurant’s license to operate.
The Department of Health recommended the 30-day suspension with the understanding that if the violations are not corrected within that time, it would be recommended that the restaurant’s license be revoked.
OMG! Marla Rutter, owner of the rotisserie, spoke to the board about the multiple violations.
“I don’t disagree with what Patrick said,” Rutter said. Rutter described to the council the personal family issues they had faced, which caused the restaurant to suffer. “That’s why this restaurant went to hell.”
Rutter said she had applied for the Restaurant Revitalization Grant, a federal grant program that aims to help struggling restaurants that have been affected by the pandemic. If awarded, Rutter would receive $ 289,000 to spend over three years. She said she would use the money for upgrades, staffing, training and cleaning, as well as for day-to-day business operations.
Board member Betty Jo Parsley described the restaurant’s multiple violations.
According to online records, the restaurant’s first critical control point inspection took place in January 2017, when it was observed that food and food items were stored directly on the floor in the storage building. Since then, inspections have revealed incorrect temperatures for food storage and at hot and cold tables, health violations and a lack of officials in attendance. The latest offense in April included dirty equipment and the presence of cockroaches.
“I don’t understand how you can run a business and I know you are putting people who buy food from you at risk,” Parsley said. “At the same time, our health department is trying to make you respect … it seems disrespectful. It seems disrespectful to your customers and disrespectful to our Board of Health. “
Rutter said the restaurant had closed several times for deep cleanings of the facility, but in “a month or so” things would return to a similar state. Rutter said that in his opinion, unless he was there at the restaurant, the employees were not cleaning him.
Council members have shown sympathy for Rutter, saying they hope she gets the grant and can hire the help she needs.
“You have to eat, breathe and sleep (catering),” said Michael Wootton, chairman of the board. “We feel bad for your situation, but our function as the Board of Health is to protect the public.”
A motion to suspend Rutter’s license for 30 days was brought forward and passed unanimously, giving Rutter time to correct violations at OMG! Roasting pan.