November 21 RESTAURANT REPORT: Health Dept. shut down buffet restaurant

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - The Health Department shut down a Japanese buffet in Eastern Henrico twice in the last two months for health code violations.

We went straight there: Teppanyaki Grill Supreme Buffet at 4338 South Laburnum Avenue in Henrico. We asked the managers what went wrong.

Manager Dominique Griffin answered, "It was just that we needed a better organization for our bar. We had to make sure we keep up as far as the temperatures and things like that."

A health inspector noted nine critical violations on one inspection, followed by eight critical on another. The report says many problems were repeated, such as pork roast, salmon, and chicken steak not being kept hot enough.

The Health Department shut the restaurant down. Teppanyaki had to lock its doors through the weekend. It wasn't able to reopen until the operators met with the Health Department that Monday morning to explain how they would fix the problems.

They did that. The restaurant passed re-inspection and re-opened the next day.

We asked Griffin what they did to make sure foods were staying hot enough on the buffet. She explained, "They made sure under the buffet, everything is at a correct temperature.  We keep constantly checking on the temperature."

A month later, records show the restaurant had to close again for a day when an inspector found it had no running water. But since then, an inspector retrained the staff, re-inspected twice, and renewed the restaurant's annual permit, allowing it to stay open. Now the managers invite customers to see their new efforts.

Said Griffin, "We want them to know we do want their business and we want to satisfy them. So we have a fresher, better buffet now, a better selection of items."

This week's NBC12 Hall of Fame Award goes to Carytown Cupcakes at 3111 West Cary Street in Richmond after earning perfect scores on several health inspections since it opened.

Said Carytown Cupcakes owner Dawn Schick, "We invested in training a lot of our staff last year. At that time, we took our entire kitchen staff and took the manager's level health inspection class."

An investment that's paid off with sweet rewards.

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