The Westborough Board of Health has directed the Regatta Deli to address issues raised by Health Inspector Terry Gilchrist -- and to improve its relationship with the board.
The decision wrapped up the board's public hearing Tuesday night on the possible suspension or revocation of the deli's food service permit, per the state sanitary code.
Director of Public Health Paul McNulty said Gilchrist's routine inspection in December found "a lot of remodeling done" without building permits or health department approval. In addition, Gilchrist found the deli did not meet "labeling requirements for the packaged foods they sell," McNulty said.
Regatta General Manager Michael Prizio said all work done at the deli was in response to issues raised during Gilchrist's inspections. He also cited some health inspection reports that he said showed the deli complied with the labeling requirements. He added that the "state labeling requirements are constantly changing," and he is working with a printing company to get new labels.
The board directed that all facility changes comply with the proper codes; that Building Commissioner Tin Htway inspect the site and file a written report before the board's next meeting; and that health and Regatta Deli officials agree to a communication document.
All of these items should either be done or in the works by the board's next meeting, said member Dr. Alan Ehrlich, who proposed them.
Prizio noted that the Regatta Deli, which his family owns, has been in Westborough for 22 years.
“We didn’t renovate anything in the store that wouldn’t have been done other than to correct the violations,” he said.
The building is “even more up to code, in my opinion, than it was before,” he said.
Gilchrist said the state sanitary code requires the board of health to be notified of any changes at a facility.
“We have given that policy out to every food establishment,” she said.
Gilchrist said the Regatta Deli was renovated without a permit in 2003, “and you were warned at that point that you couldn’t make any changes unless they were approved.”
Gilchrist added that her inspection reports show nine labeling requirement violations since 2007.
She said she gave the Regatta the option of writing its ingredients on a placard on the deli counter.
“When I went in the last time, it was nowhere to be found. I even gave them an easier option,” Gilchrist said.
Prizio said, “Do we want to be shut down? Absolutely not.”
Member Priscilla Federici replied, “Do you want to cooperate with the board of health? I don’t feel up to this point that you have.”
Prizio said that if the board allowed the Regatta to remain open, “we’ll notify you of anything that we replace in the store.”
Owner Joanne Prizio said she has “served the community well” over her 22 years in Westborough.
“We did what Terry wrote on the reports. If we didn’t call her to say, ‘We’re painting today,’ that’s our fault. She said to replace ceiling tiles. We did that. Did we call and ask for permission? No. She stated it in the report. We did it,” Joanne Prizio said.