Restaurant Report Card for May 7, 2020

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(KWTX) Now more than ever more people are starting to understand the importance of following health and food safety codes.

In our first Restaurant Report Card since COVID-19 struck the Central Texas area, we are catching you up on what you missed and why food inspections never stop.

First the good.

Bell County had lots of 100s on inspections at restaurants that were actually open during the stay at home orders.

The lowest score, however, came from Hunan Restaurant at 913 South Fort Hood St. in Killeen.

It got a 92.

The report said the coolers were missing thermometers in the freezer.

In McLennan County, one restaurant, Little Caesars at 1517 North Interstate 35 in Bellmead, shut down for a while because of a roach problem.

Roaches are known to carry serious diseases such as typhoid, polio, and cause dysentery.

These pests were seen crawling on the cooking equipment.

The Waco-McLennan Health Department said it was made aware of the problem after a video surfaced on social media, which prompted health workers to check it out for themselves.

"It wasn't just a few. They had a serious problem," said David Litke, of the department.

He said the pizza place had to be thoroughly cleaned, repairs made to eliminate the roaches’ hiding spots, and a professional pest control crew was brought in.

It's instances such as this that highlight the importance of food safe codes and inspections, especially during a pandemic.

"What we don't want to happen is with restaurants closed or limited food supply is that we then have a situation where there is a food borne outbreak, which would only just compound the issues we have." Litke said.

After a re-inspection, the restaurant had fixed all the problems and scored a 100.

The health department has continued conducting food safety inspections during the shelter in place.

While the environmental health office inspects the where food is prepared and served, it is not handling COVID-19 concerns.

To report a potential social distancing violation, which is separate from food safety, call code enforcement at (254) 750-5970.

Taqueria Las Tapatias at 402 North Robinson Dr. in Robinson got a 72 on a recent inspection.

Among the problems was that the Raid roach killer was stored with the food.

Missing thermometers and food not kept at the right temp were also noted.

Chopsticks 2 at 903 North Interstate 35 in Bellmead got a 79 on a recent inspection.

The biggest issue was raw food that was lying around and not being kept at the right temperature.

There were other problems as well.

On a brighter note, this week's Clean Plate Award goes to Lynette's Church Street Bake Shoppe in Salado.

According to its website, it offers hearty take home meals for those who are still uneasy about dining in public.

You can pick up meatloaf, lasagna, and chicken spaghetti.