Rosemarie Keidel had planned to reopen Juergen's Bakery Friday, April 20 and reassure customers the restaurant was a safe place to eat.

Rosemarie Keidel had planned to reopen Juergen's Bakery Friday, April 20 and reassure customers the restaurant was a safe place to eat.

But a final inspection by the Columbus Public Health Department revealed that many health-code violations had not been fixed to health officials satisfaction.

Jose Rodriguez, spokesman for the health agency, said inspectors had observed seven critical violations and several non-critical violations, including live mice in the restaurant, ready-to-eat food that had not been discarded by the appropriate date, and insects and debris in containers of powdered sugar and other baking products.

"We're working close with the facility to make sure they can come into compliance and they can operate safely," Rodriguez said.
"And, when they come into compliance with state law, we will be ready to help them open the facility."

Last week, the City Health Department suspended Keidel's license and closed the German Village restaurant for three days because of violations. On a visit April 10, inspectors observed 14 violations, nine of which were deemed critical.

Both Juergen's, 525 S. Fourth St., and Stir Fry 88, located in the Mall at Tuttle Crossing, were closed April 17 by the health agency.

Rodriguez said it's an unusual situation because most restaurants comply.

"In this case, we invested significant resources in helping them come into compliance," he said. "After a place has been shut down, we hope the critical violations have been corrected so they can reopen," Rodriguez said.

"Normally this doesn't happen."

In an interview Friday morning, Keidel claimed she had been working with the city on the violations, but officials wouldn't budge on a few key matters, particularly keeping food stored at the proper temperature and a dishwasher that wasn't properly sanitizing dishes.

She said she had brought a new refrigerator up from the basement into the kitchen, which might have jarred the thermometer and slightly raised the temperature.

The dishwasher, Keidel contends, was functioning properly but the sanitizing solution was low.

She said she purchased additional sanitizing fluid, but the inspector said it wasn't the proper kind.

Keidel said she had maintenance inspections of the two machines by separate companies.

Both firms deemed the machines to be properly functioning and they sent letters in her defense, she said.

However, the correspondence was ignored, Keidel said.

"I complied," she said.

As part of the enforcement, the city will step up monitoring of Juergen's for 120 days.

Rodriguez said the agency had been working with Keidel for eight months and had nine standard follow up inspections.

Rodriguez said the facts speak for themselves.

"Our role really is to help central Ohio restaurants work with us to make sure that the Ohio law is followed so we can protect our residents," he said.

Meanwhile, Keidel said she takes responsibility for the restaurant and will attend a food-safety class as required by the city.

"It shouldn't have happened," she said. "I could have avoided it. I could have paid closer attention."

Keidel, 73, said her restaurant has been open for 43 years and she always has been cooperative with health officials.

Still, the she's worried about the damage to her reputation.

She said she plans to streamline her menu to avoid some complications.