Cityscape

Plaza’s Melting Pot reopening after health code violations involving gnats, mice

The Melting Pot had no critical violations during a reopening inspection Tuesday and it plans to reopen at 4 p.m. July 18.
The Melting Pot had no critical violations during a reopening inspection Tuesday and it plans to reopen at 4 p.m. July 18. jsmith@kcstar.com

The Melting Pot fondue restaurant on the Country Club Plaza is scheduled to reopen at 4 p.m. Wednesday, five days after it was temporarily shut down for health code violations.

The longtime Plaza restaurant, at 450 Ward Parkway, had eight critical violations during a July 13 routine inspection. It was temporarily shut down due to an infestation of mice and gnats. It had no critical violations during a July 17 follow-up inspection.

The inspector observed gnats throughout the kitchen, the ware washing room and near the rear storage room, as well as some in the dining room. The inspector also saw “substantial mouse droppings” under the storage racks and on kitchen shelves. There also were two live mice and mouse urine in the storage room. It also had four dead mice and one dead roach.

In a statement, the Melting Pot said: “Our utmost concern is the well-being of all of our guests. We recently closed our location to correct health inspection violations and have corrected all issues in accordance to the health department’s specifications. We have had positive reviews from the health department with no issues of pests until work recently began from a nearby construction site. We have conducted a thorough inspection and sealed any openings. We have a stringent food safety program in place to ensure the quality and safety of all of our food items. The Melting Pot of Kansas City has had over 10 years of positive track record for being in good standings with the health department.”

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But a look at recent inspections indicates there were some past issues with pests.

During an August 2014 inspection it had several gnats in a back storage area. In August 2016, an inspector observed “excessive drain flies” in the dry storage room, the mop sink area and at the bar. In November 2016, the inspector observed mouse droppings on top of a few cans of food, on some shelves in the dry storage room, on the floor underneath storage racks and in an employee restroom, along with a dead mouse and “excessive” drain flies throughout the bar.

In January 2017 the inspector noted “gnats throughout the establishment.” On May 11, 2017, the inspector saw fruit flies in the service sink area and in the dessert station area, and during a follow-up inspection on May 19, 2017, the inspector noted fruit flies in the service sink area.

The Melting Pot, a fondue restaurant franchise based in Tampa, Fla., was founded in 1975. It has more than 115 restaurants in 34 U.S. states, Canada, Mexico and the Middle East. It also has more than 17 international locations under development.

It opened in the 8,000-square-foot basement space on the Plaza in December 2001.

Kansas City Missouri Health Department shared their top critical violations found during routine inspections in 2016 at restaurants and grocery stores in Kansas City. Critical violations can contribute to foodborne illness.

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