By Josh Mitchell
Corinth Today News Editor
Problems that were found in a Tuesday health department inspection of Martha’s Menu in Corinth have been corrected, and the business is still open, the owner said Friday.
Martha’s Menu, 702 Cruise St., in downtown Corinth received a “C” grade on its inspection from the Mississippi State Department of Health this week. Under the inspection system, restaurants can receive three grades — A, B or C.
The restaurant will receive a followup inspection soon. Prior to this inspection, Martha’s Menu had been graded an “A” each year for about five years.
Martha’s Menu owner Keith Wilkins said the inspector showed up during the lunch rush when the dining room was full. The health department report shows that the inspector arrived at 12:26 p.m. Tuesday. The kitchen is not going to be spotless during such a busy time, he noted.
For instance, one of the notes on the inspection said “open raw chicken stored in walk-in cooler beside open cooked string beans.” Wilkins said this was an oversight on the restaurant’s part.
Chicken was being cooked during the busy lunch hour, and the uncooked portions were kept easily accessible in the cooler until needed, he said. The staff made sure the uncooked chicken did not get hot, he said. A little common sense goes a long way when a restaurant is cooking for that many people, he added.
Corinth Today filed a public records request with the health department for the inspection on Tuesday and was provided with the document Friday afternoon.
Martha’s Menu “stands for itself,” Wilkins said, adding that the problems were corrected quickly and that the business remains open. The restaurant has been in Corinth for 25 years and will continue to be, he said.
The inspection also stated that rodent droppings were observed and that a bag of uncooked macaroni was “compromised possibly by rodents.” Wilkins acknowledged that the restaurant did have rodent issues but that the problem has been addressed.
Furthermore, the inspection said that raw and cooked food in the walk-in cooler was uncovered, not labeled and undated. And the inspection said that the restaurant was out of compliance in terms of proper food holding temperatures and food contact surfaces being cleaned and sanitized.
A “C” means that “critical violations were found, but some or all were not corrected during the inspection,” according to the state health department. Restaurants that receive a “C” are inspected again within 10 days
Martha’s Menu was found to be in compliance in many other key areas, such as hands being clean and properly washed and having the proper cooking times and temperatures.