McDonald's closes, reopens after inspection

A McDonald’s restaurant in downtown Atlanta was temporarily closed this week after a Fulton County health inspection found multiple code violations, according the state Department of Public Health.

The violations at the McDonald’s at 35 Forsyth St. left the restaurant with a failing score of 46 out of 100, according to an inspection report dated June 19.

After a re-inspection Wednesday, the restaurant reopened Thursday afternoon with a score of 100, a company official said.

Violations ranged from employees not washing their hands or wearing hair nets, to the absence of someone in charge who could “demonstrate and articulate proper food handling procedures.” The restaurant also failed to “eliminate the presence of rodents.”

"We take restaurant sanitation and cleanliness very seriously," Yves Dominique, greater Atlanta McDonald’s operator, said in a statement to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "We have cooperated fully with the Health Department to address their concerns and have taken every step necessary to ensure our compliance. We were re-inspected yesterday [Wednesday] and received a perfect score of 100.”

The restaurant is near the Five Points area, which attracts many office workers and pedestrians on their way to Underground Atlanta and the nearby MARTA station.

A DPH food service establishment inspection report shows the inspection was conducted between 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

Other violations included failure to discard food products that had expired, failure to remove mold and sanitize the inside of an ice machine, failure to clean and sanitize surfaces in the kitchen and equipment to prevent recontamination, failure to use gloves for only one task and leaking plumbing.

The restaurant’s performance had plummeted over the last year. In May of 2011, it had a score or 95, or an A. But four months later in September, its score had dropped to an 86, or B, before its latest score of 46, or an F. The company did not address why the score had dropped.

McDonald’s said it voluntarily closed the restaurant Wednesday to address the violations.  DPH spokesman Ryan Deal said McDonald's actions included repairing a sewage leak and hiring a licensed pest control operator to correct the rodent problem. "Previous violations have been corrected," Deal said Thursday.

“McDonald's has an outstanding track record for sanitation and food safety with the Health Department and our standards will not be compromised," Dominique said.