Americans eat roughly 350 slices of pizza goodness every second, but getting one of those saucy slices from the Sbarro at Arden Fair Mall hasn’t been an option recently.
FOX40 found employees cleaning instead of serving food Tuesday night because the eatery had been shut down for health violations.
“It’s a chance, anywhere. And it’s something to always think about,” said shopper Diana Fillenworth.
She was at the mall food court with her twin 8-year-old sons after getting a pair of eyeglasses fixed.
Inspectors from Sacramento County’s Environmental Management Department weren’t available for on-camera comment Tuesday.
EMD Health Division Chief John Rogers did say by phone that the current 48-hour shutdown was the punishment assigned after an October administrative hearing.
The penalty was meant to address a string of sanitary violations and repeat failures to protect food from contamination.
“It makes me not want to eat food at the mall even more. Something like that, you can get food poisoning,” said shopper Connie Garrett.
The Arden Fair Sbarro was also shut down for a day in April for improper sewage disposal.
And there are pages and pages other violations at the food court restaurant dating back to the late 90s.
One of the major repeat offenses – failure to maintain proper food temperatures. One mall shopper believes such problems start at the top.
“I think a lot of companies are trying to save some pennies and bringing people into management when they’re not qualified to and don’t know the actual regulations that need to be upheld when they’re in a restaurant,” said shopper Lori Dillard.
John Rogers says a new manager has been hired for the Arden Sbarro location – a change which gives his agency confidence in coming improvements.
“I’ve only been here three days as a manager,” the new manager said when FOX40’s cameras found him during Tuesday night’s cleaning session.
He couldn’t really speak to the problems but did offer a vision for the future.
“It’s all getting back to the way it’s supposed to be,” he said.
The Arden Fair food court location reopened Wednesday morning.
It will be up to diners and the health inspectors to tell if Sbarro cleans its plate of these issues or dishes up leftovers.
No representatives from Sbarro corporate responded to FOX40’s request for comment about operations at the Arden Fair Sbarro.