Management at Hibachi Grill Supreme Buffet and local officials are working together to bring the Town & Country Shopping Center business back into compliance with health code.
But it is still unknown just how long the Asian restaurant at 2309 S. MacArthur Blvd. may remain closed.
“Having trained staff is something that takes a bit of time,” Gail O’Neill, director of the Sangamon Department of Public Health, said Wednesday. “It’s not something like hiring a plumber to fix a leak.
“But Hibachi Grill submitted a letter saying they know there are problems and they’re working with the health department to correct them.”
The restaurant has been closed since June 16 following an inspection by the county health department. It was the 10th visit inspectors made in the past three months.
Violations noted on inspections ranged from staff failing to properly wash hands and cooking utensils to the lack of a certified food manager on duty and many new staff members without food handler cards to verify they had been trained in basic food handling principles according to the Illinois Food Code.
Efforts to reach owner Jin Ming Wu or speak with management were unsuccessful.
However, a letter filed with the health department said new management has been hired and the facility thoroughly cleaned.
“Due to the shortage of helpers our management had lacked (the) last couple of weeks. We had made multiple changes to the restaurant to prevent the same mistakes and violations,” read the letter that is unsigned but has a heading listed as Hibachi Sushi Supreme Buffet and the Springfield restaurant’s address.
The letter went on: “We had became the landmark for the city of Springfield and had been serving Sangamon County for almost a decade. We like to continue to improve and provide better service to the community. Hoping Sangamon County Public Health Board will give us another chance to serve the community. It has been a very difficult time last two years due to the covid pandemic closure and we lost all the great helpers and chefs who had been with us many years.”
Natalie Morris can be reached at 737-7254 or by email at [email protected]