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Restaurant Report Card - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Restaurant Report Card

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Restaurants never know when the health inspector is going to show up. Usually it's once a year and there's no way to prepare other than always being ready.

The first restaurant we showcase today is a Fargo Applebee's off of 13th Avenue south. In their last two inspections they've had a total of 9 violations, just one critical.

The critical violation was for not date marking some cooked potatoes and onions that were in the walk in cooler. While the minor violations almost all had to do with cleanliness issues. The health inspector noted that tables under the grill needed to be cleaned and the floor under the fryer and dishwasher also needed some attention.

The general manager says all of the violations are taken very seriously and were corrected after the health inspectors visit.

The next restaurant we visit is the Pizza Ranch in south Fargo. They were cited for 11 violations in their last two inspections. 9 of the 11 were repeat offenses from one visit to the next according to the health inspector's report. Once again most of the violations had to do with cleaning up their work area.

The health inspector noted the bottom of an oven needed to be cleaned and the food prep area floor also needed some attention.

We spoke with the day manager at the Pizza Ranch and she told us since their last inspection all managers and employees have discussed the importance of sweeping and mopping whenever they have a minute. She added they strive to have zero violations.

But here at Happy Joe's Pizza and Ice Cream in south Fargo, they haven't had a violation in over a year. While it's admittedly difficult to do so the husband and wife who own this shop say it's all about team work and staying on top of the cleaning day in and day out.

"You have to work for it everyday and there is no guarantee (you won't get a violation). You have to be on your "a" game everyday. The restaurant business is tough. It's tough to keep customers coming in the door, to train employees properly, and make them care. That's the hard part of the business," says Mike Post the owner of the Happy Joe's in south Fargo.

Congratulations to Happy Joe's in south Fargo! The husband and wife who operate that shop have been in the business of keeping Happy Joe's safe and clean now for 30-plus years. In fact, they met at the restaurant, and before you know it they were married. Thanks for your hard work and congratulations on this week's Clean Plate Award.

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