Georgia has rules it requires every food service operation to follow.

Popular, acclaimed eatery in Cobb aces health check after mildew fail


A restaurant that had failed a health check in part for mildew aced its re-inspection Monday.

Cobb County health department records show Zeal scored a 100 just before lunch.

Original (published April 6, 2018):

A popular restaurant in Marietta, a four-time winner of an OpenTable diners’ choice award, failed its recent health inspection in part for issues with mildew and a clean kitchen.

Zeal, at 1255 Johnson Ferry Road, scored a 61 on Thursday, according to Cobb County health department records. Any score below a 70 is considered failing.

General manager Scott Sawant told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Friday that he was disappointed and frustrated with the score and felt many of the points deducted were for technicalities.

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“At least we weren’t docked points on things that can affect our staff or guest safety,” he said.

But when asked about the “large build up of mildew and has a strong mildew odor” from the bottom cabinet in the front of the kitchen the inspector had reported, Sawant said he hadn’t smelled any mildew. 

The inspector also noted a “heavy build up of food debris on interior of dishwasher” and a “large amount of grease and floor underneath the dishwasher.”

Sawant said the inspector came about 30 minutes before his team closes down the restaurant to clean between shifts.

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There were also eggs and goat cheese held at unsafe temperatures, but Sawant said he can’t expect his staff to work inside the walk-in cooler.

“There’s a lots of dive bars and sports bars that I walk in ... and when I see the filth ... it’s disappointing,” he said.

Sawant said the restaurant serves Modern American cuisine and specializes in seafood, steaks and food that is “local and sustainable.”

The restaurant won Taste of Marietta’s seafood award in 2016.

Sawant said he’s worked with his staff to fix the errors.  Follow-up inspections are usually done within 10 days of the original evaluation.

“There’s no hiding from this score, this disappointment,” he said.

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