UPDATE: Health Department closes Buffet King after complaint from a diner

ODESSA, Tx. (KOSA) -- This story was updated to include comments from community members.

The Ector County Health Department closed Buffet King after it scored a 66. The health department immediately closes any restaurants that receive a score lower than 70. (Photo: William Malm/CBS7)

An Odessa restaurant closed suddenly after a diner got sick and was taken to the emergency room.

That according to a food inspection report filed Friday with Ector County Health Department.

Buffet king closed its doors after it received a score of 66.

The low score from the health department came because of insect issues as well as food temperature problems.

Any restaurant that receives a score lower than 70 must immediately close.

Restaurants start with a perfect score of 100 and lose points for any violations that are found.

According to the report a follow-up inspection was scheduled for today. The Ector County Health Department said the restaurant failed the inspection.
Community members were met with a surprise Monday when they drove up to the Buffet King near 42nd Street and found a note on the door saying it's closed.

Charlie Didonato said he was looking forward to eating at the restaurant Monday evening.

“Today’s my birthday and I was going to come here and have dinner and it’s closed and I’m disappointed,” he said.

The Ector County Health Department said a community member came to them claiming he got sick after eating at the restaurant and went to the hospital.

Local family medicine doctor, Dr. Bakhos Webb, said food inspection reports are important.

“I know for a fact they try to follow up with reports for patients that report signs and symptoms of food poisoning after going to a certain restaurant or eating a certain meal,” she said.

The health department’s inspection found multiple health violations, including a “fly and roach problem that needs to be fixed,” according to the food inspection report.

Several other violations the inspector found was that chicken, shrimp and other foods were out of temperature. The report also stated that some food was stored on the floor, and at least one employee didn’t have a card showing they took a food handler training course.

Life-long Odessa community member, Chris Rubio, said he eats at the restaurant several times a month.

“That’s a concern and it is surprising. Because they’ve been here a while and they’re always busy and everybody always seems to like to come here,” Rubio said.

The community members said they will dine at the restaurant if, and when, it re-opens.

“I don’t know, I’ve never had a disappointing meal here, I’ve never had an issue with bugs or anything I just enjoy the restaurant. I think it’s good value for the price you pay,” Didonato said.

“We’ll just come back another day when they’ve got everything together again. I’ve always liked it, I’ve always had a good experience when I’ve come here. But you know, It can’t always be perfect and at least it wasn’t a lower score than what they did get. So you know, you’ve got to give everybody a second chance and hopefully they’ll step up and next time they come in to test them they’ll pass and everything will be alright,” Rubio said.