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Board of Health Warns Two Local Businesses for Violations

The board issued warnings to Foodland Halal Market and Pizzeria Villafranca during the meeting on Wednesday.

The Burlington Board of Health issued warnings to two local businesses during a meeting last Wednesday, one for improper trash disposal and another for violating the food code by using improper containers for storage.

The first issue concerned Foodland Halal Market at 120 Cambridge Street.

Health Agent Marlene Johnson explained that the business was improperly discarding food and other rubbish, which was accumulating behind the shop and creating a health hazard. She said insects and rodents could be attracted to food that is not properly contained in a dumpster.

Johnson said the business had been previously warned about the trash situation. She also had pictures from a July 17 visit that showed rubbish piled up behind the business.

A representative from the shop said that when the pictures were taken it was in the lead-up to Ramadan, a very busy time for the shop. He added that at Johnson's request he had purchased a rodent-proof container and that the rubbish would be properly taken care of moving on.

Board Member Terry McSweeny made a motion for a $50 fine but it was not seconded by any other members.

At Johnson's request the board issued a warning ticket to Foodland Halal Market, which does not does carry a fine but does place the incident into the business's record.

The second warning was issued to , 5 Center Street.

Johnson told the board that Pizzeria Villafranca has been using paint buckets from Home Depot to store food in violation of the food code. She explained proper containers, those specifically designed and approved for food storage, must be used to protect the public health. Those containers won't bleach into food, are easier to clean and are more sanitary in general.

"When purchase containers at a hardware store they not up to accepted standards," Johnson said.

Johnson added that the improper food containers were first noticed during a Feb. 3, 2012, at which time the owners were advised to stop using them. On a July, 19 inspection they were still in use.

Owner Jimmy Sacca said he had been using the storage containers to store cheese because they were listed as "multi-purpose." However, he did say he would have new containers next week that meet the health standards.

The harshest words on the issue came from board member Dr. Ed Weiner. 

"We've been here before," he said to Sacca. "I'm sure its not on purpose but it could be a matter of education. How many weeks or months should we shut you down so you can learn the food code? that's what its coming to. We don't want you here [in front of the board]. People like your food, but we have to ensure when they eat there it is safe. This bothers me and if this continues I don't think we need a Villafranca in Burlington."

Weiner said if the problem continues, he'd like to see the restaurant shut down for some period of time.

McSweeny disagreed, saying shutting a business down was not the accepted approach. 

"We don't just shut businesses down for a food code violation, we fine them," he said. "I don't see why you are picking on this one business."

Johnson recommended a $50 fine and an order to remove all of the containers. In the end the board issued a warning with the condition that all food be in approved containers by the next inspection on Aug. 31.

This article was written with Burlington's Cable Access Television. Watch the full meeting on BCAT's website by clicking here.

Caroline July 26, 2012 at 12:46 PM
This makes me think twice about going to eat at Villafranca!
Roxxma July 26, 2012 at 01:42 PM
Well, I've never eaten at Villafranca, but as someone whose worked in food service, I think it is probably a minor issue, the real violation is on their lack of action after being warned. From their description, it sounds like the buckets used are multipurpose five gallon plastic buckets, not paint cans. There are food grade plastic five gallon buckets that are routinely used that look very similar to what I assume they got at Home Depot, they are usually white food grade plastic though, not orange, as I assume the Home Depot ones are.
Gary B. Kasky July 26, 2012 at 02:29 PM
Mr. Weiners statement "I don't think we need a Villafranca in Burlington." is mean and unacceptable. This was a minor issue and we do not want to force a business to leave our town, especially someone like owner Mr. Jimmy Sacca who is hard working, has good food and very good to the community. Mr. Weiner was wrong in his statement. Gary B. Kasky TMM Precinct 6
Adam July 26, 2012 at 05:06 PM
If I had to guess, Dr. Weiner's comment about not wanting them in Burlington was more aimed at frustration of them choosing not to listen to the BOH's warnings from the previous inspection. This comment didn't come from the first time they found the buckets (hey, people make mistakes). It came when Villafranca chose to not correct the infraction. if you don't want to play by the rules, then leave. I'm guessing that's his sentiment.
Andy July 26, 2012 at 06:43 PM
$50? Are you kidding me?? Why not 5 cents? It should be at least $500!!! "I don't think we need a Villafranca in Burlington." is entirely appropriate given the fact that the business owner completely ignored the previous warning. All we *really* need is healthy food, not a particular business.
J. Parker July 26, 2012 at 08:41 PM
Starting a new business is tough. I hope Mr. Sacca adheres to the health rules and I wish him the best. I've eaten at Villafranca. The food is delicious, the service friendly and the tables full of people. I shall heat up my overly generous plate of last evening and enjoy the rest tonight
Bill Hitchcock July 27, 2012 at 12:46 AM
I feel that Mr. Sacca should deffinatly follow all of the rules that have been laid out by the board of health. I have no problem eating there nor by any of the ways they are doing there job, I had no clue that those buckets from Homedepot were not aloud for food prep work of any nature. I have no problem eating there not like my feelings of the way things are done at Dominaos pizza and I have had a desicussion with the maniger at that store and what I have seen at other Dominaos id be a bit more carefull were I eat from now on.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
john August 11, 2012 at 02:40 PM
at least he isnt trafficking cocaine like his relative derek sacca on forbes ave was. real nice family
Frank Mulligan August 11, 2012 at 04:37 PM
The Board of Health has rules. Fines the same way after thet they will shut them down. Some people will laern the hard way. People will not give this owner any bussiness. good Luck Burlington.

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