If the staff can complete its training and the restaurant passes final inspection, the Steak ‘n Shake in Middletown could be reopened as early as Friday.
Middletown Health Commissioner Jackie Phillips said the restaurant has submitted most of the required documentation to the city health department and is working on getting its entire staff trained as required by the suspension order.
“The whole staff needed to be trained,” she said. “They will open up when everyone is able to serve food safely.”
Phillips said once the staff certifications are received, a city sanitarian will go to the restaurant for a final inspection to ensure all of the equipment is in place and that the restaurant is clean.
She said there will be a follow-up inspection at a later date to make sure there are no sanitation/health issues.
Michael Gorman, Steak ‘n Shake’s Cincinnati division president, said the Middletown restaurant “will be the cleanest restaurant in Ohio.”
“We were given a lot of stipulation and we’ve accomplished 99 percent of them. We’re going to be above and beyond the regulations.”
Gorman said Thursday that officials are working to get the 20 to 30 employees certified with Level 1 food safety training. The Middletown restaurant is a corporate-owned store.
While he’s been the division president for 45 days, Gorman said he’s “cleaning up the mess” and that everyone is very excited that the restaurant will be re-opened soon.
The Middletown City Board of Health issued the two-week suspension following an April 9 appeal hearing. That hearing followed two previous pre-administrative hearings due to multiple failed inspections at the restaurant at 3170 Towne Blvd. Between July 2017 and March 2019, there were 21 inspections and a total of 296 violations with 36 listed as critical violations and the other 260 violations were non-critical.
The food service license suspension has remained in effect until all requirements are completed, according to the city Board of Health
According to the letter from the city Board of Health, in order to lift the suspension, the restaurant must take these steps:
• All food employees must obtain person-in-charge certification.
• Documentation of completed training must be submitted to the City of Middletown Health Department
• At least one manager must obtain managers certification in food protection.
• Documentation of competed training must be submitted to the City of Middletown Health Department.
• The entire facility’s floors, walls, ceiling and equipment must be cleaned.
• The new Alto-Shaam, a commercial oven that cooks food quickly and keeps it hot, must be in place.
• The facility must provide and maintain a cleaning schedule/log and submit it to the health department for approval.
The 621-unit Steak ‘n Shake chain operates 12 restaurants in Butler, Warren, Hamilton and Clermont counties. Ten of them were temporarily closed in late March while locations in Hamilton and West Chester were closed in late January.
The Indianapolis-based chain also operates nine restaurants in the Dayton-Springfield area.
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