BOH Directs Regatta Deli to Address Issues

Improving the eatery's relationship with the board is among them.

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.

Jonny Westboro January 16, 2013 at 06:12 PM
What a joke! Been going there my whole life. Is this what the board of health is doing? The same agency that inspects semi-public pools, where a small child died on East Main Street near McDonalds last year. Good use of our tax dollars. Looking for mop sinks in sub shops instead of holes in a pool fence.
Csharris January 17, 2013 at 10:38 AM
Reading between the lines it appears to me that the board of health had an ax to grind. Personality wise the owners of the business have a little edge to them. I understand the labeling concerns but the construction issues are ridiculous. The place is always clean and looks presentable. Why doesn't the boh spend more time in the hundred Chinese restaurants we have in town. A little over the top for the boh.
Mike January 17, 2013 at 11:08 AM
I haven't seen any Fortune cookies with the establishments name and address or their phone number...
wborobusiness January 20, 2013 at 03:40 PM
As a food establishment owner in town, I can tell you that Terry Gilchrest is a very thorough inspector, but very fair. She gives businesses opportunity to address issues. Only those food establishments that habitually break the rules & ignore her inspection reports get called out like this! I want a health inspector that does her job- that notifies the community when a business is not playing by the rules. Why doesn't anyone mention the certificates the BOH actually sends out to businesses that COMPLY with the sanitation code! Look around the next time you are in your local restaurants, there are plenty with awards from the health department for their GOOD records. Regatta has been in town for many years, but it doesn't mean they comply with the laws. For those of you who are swayed by the quotes from the business owner... wake up! What are they going to say! They were caught doing something wrong & the proper procedure was carried out. They didn't lose their license, didn't get fined. They were just called on to comment on their continual code violations. Good for the BOH. Terry Gilchrest does work with businesses who are trying to do the right thing! Perhaps some restaurant owners do not agree with the sanitation laws- but she is the messenger. Johnny Westboro. BOH inspects pools 1x per year. If a fence is bent in the ensuing 364 days, it is the property owner who is reponsible for the fix! Ultimately this is the property owner's fault, not the BOH.
wborobusiness January 20, 2013 at 03:51 PM
Jonny Westboro = Michael Prizio... please...no wonder you have been eating there for years! I guess you are as educated on the state pool code as you are on the state sanitation code. Yes, requiring sub-standard (no pun intended) food establishments in town to comply with basic codes is a very good use of tax dollars... without a mop sink, I wonder where you wash the mop? Thought my tuna tasted a little... like Mr. Clean... Not sure what base of logic you use thinking that the general public will sympathize with you while you basically admit to not having adequate means to clean your kitchen! Instead of taking the offensive, how about committing to your customers that you will comply with all regulations and make it a goal to earn a cetificate of merit given to restaurants in Westboro with excellent sanitation records. Your customers deserve that.


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