WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Health Board Gives Macomb Restaurant One Final Chance

Sep 21, 2018

The McDonough County Health Department said its inspections have uncovered the same violations time and time again at El Rancherito restaurant in Macomb.  The problems include food temperature violations, cross contamination of food, and a lack of handwashing/sanitation.

Chris Adams, Environmental Health Director for the health department, said such violations could cause serious health problems for diners.

“When you have cross contamination, you can have a salmonella food-borne illness. If somebody is storing raw food above ready-to-eat food and it drips, you can have e. coli,” said Adams.

He said other potential food-borne illnesses from the violations include norovirus and clostridium perfringens.

El Rancherito is closed after its most recent health department inspection – and it’s not the first time the business has been shut down for these offenses. “It’s when that behavior reoccurs – we need to address that, we need to prevent that,” said Adams.

The McDonough County Board of Health ordered the restaurant to complete several steps before it can reopen:

  • Pass two inspections by an outside agency
  • Pass a health department inspection
  • Create a written, detailed plan for correcting the problems

Health board members also said restaurant management must be actively engaged in the business and must ensure proper procedures are followed in the kitchen.

Restaurant representatives who attended Thursday night’s special Board of Health meeting agreed they have not been diligent enough about overseeing the kitchen and told the board they will do better.

El Rancherito’s food retail license comes up for renewal at the end of October. It must pass another health department inspection at that time and pass one every three months for the next year. 

Health board members said El Rancherito’s license will be revoked if it fails any of the inspections.