Tainted lettuce may be to blame for an outbreak of E. Coli in North Alabama.
Nearly 2 dozen people in Madison County were infected with the foodborne bacteria after eating lettuce at Little Rosie's on Whitesburg Drive in Huntsville.
WAFF 48's Elizabeth Gentle talked with a restaurant owner who says there are things cooks can do to try and keep bacteria away from customers.
E. Coli has been at the forefront of our news since WAFF 48 first broke the story. The big question, now, is how to prevent another outbreak. For the answer, we went into the kitchen of a popular restaurant to see what they are doing to keep you from becoming sick.
Tom Chapman is the owner and head cook at "The Chef's Table" in south Huntsville. His restauarant is cozy and the design of the kitchen is unique.
Unlike most eateries, customers can watch their food prepared and see how it's handled in front of them.
Tom Chapman said, " If we make a mistake, somebody could get sick from bacteria like E. Coli".
The WAFF 48 News Investigators wanted to know what restaurants do to try and prevent the foodborne illness.
Chapman invited our camera into the food prep area at the "Chef's Table" for a view.
All cooks are required to wear gloves when cooking and serving. The area where sauces are stirred, greens tossed, and veggies grilled is kept clean.
According to Chapman, "We use different cutting boards for meats. We use different boards for produce and vegetables. We rinse everything prior to prepping. We constantly change wearing gloves cleaning our equipment constantly. This prevents cross-contamination and keeps illnesses like e-coli from making customers sick. Iif somebody is ill or gets sick we do lose that person as a customer".
Health inspectors check restaurants frequently, especially if there's a bacterial outbreak.
Then, they hand off the scores along to WAFF 48's Restaurant Scorecard.
Here's a run down:
Discount Food Mart #203 on Highway 231/431 in Meridianville scored a 76 after health inspectors found three critical violations, including expired lunch meat and eggs.
Sonic Drive in #112 earned a failing score of 77. Food inspectors cited an employee squeezing limes into drinks and handling cheeries with bare hands.
Sonic Drive on North Memorial Parkway faired a little better with an 81. Inspectors found flies in the kitchen and a cooler unplugged and milk at 86 degrees. Keep in mind a score below 85 means more frequent visits from the health inspector.
Great Wall Chinese Restaurant on South Memorial Parkway in Huntsville scored a 79. Health inspectors found live and dead pests on a glue strip behind the fryer.
And in Lauderdale County, The Frosty King on County Road 30 and Subway on Cloverdale Road scored 98.
In Madison County. Firehouse Subs on Carl T. Jones scored a perfect 100.
Valley Pizza was close behind with a 98.
Arby's on South Memorial Parkway earned a 97.
Cheeburger Cheeburger scored a 95.