ONLY ON CBS7: Buffet King re-opens, apologizes after failed health inspections

ODESSA, Tx (KOSA) -- A local restaurant has re-opened, after failing two health inspections within the last week. Now the owners of Buffet King are speaking with CBS7 about what went wrong, and how they’re fixing the problems.

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)

Last Friday, the Ector County Health Department shut Buffet King down, after they say the restaurant scored a 66 out of 100 on an inspection, and a diner was allegedly hospitalized after eating there.

“There were some things that weren’t up to temperature, such as the food,” Zebin Lin, the son of the restaurant’s owner said. “There were some things that were left on the floor and also there were roach and fly problems at the restaurant.”

As recently as Monday an exterminator was in the Buffet King handling the bug problem. However on Tuesday, the restaurant received a satisfactory grade and was allowed to re-open.

So what’s changed?

“First of all everyone who is handling food got a food handlers card,” Lin said. “And we also installed fly traps away from the food, and toward the door where the flies would come in. So we did all that to make sure everyone would be happy eating here and wouldn’t get sick from eating here.”

For that person that reportedly did get sick eating at Buffet King, the restaurant would like to pay for their hospital visit.

“We want to make sure we get everything right,” Lin said. “And make sure that we can pay to reimburse this person if it is true that, after consuming food from our restaurant, they were sent to the emergency room.”

CBS7 spoke to several people who had lunch at the restaurant Thursday, and most of them had not heard about the health inspector shutdown. However, even after learning about the health violations, many said they still would’ve eaten at Buffet King.

“Real good food,” Cornelius Penner said. “Good service. Everything seems clean, to me at least.”

“I know these people here and they’re really good people,” Paul Rabogliatti said. “I was surprised to see they were open already, so it was a pleasant surprise. I got my lunch.”