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Columbia Panera reopens after water heater catches fire

Panera Bread Co. on Brickton Road
ABC 17 News
Panera Bread Co. on Brickton Road


Inspectors from the Columbia/Boone County Public Health Department visited at least eight eateries in the first week of 2020.

One of the restaurants they went to was Panera on Brickton Road in response to a small fire that started in a back room of the restaurant.

All eateries inspected:

If a restaurant did not have a follow-up listed, all critical violations were fixed at the time of the inspection.

Panera Bread Company (Brickton Road): 1/3/2020

  • Inspectors visited Panera because a fire broke out on top of the water heater in the back of the restaurant. The fire extinguisher was used to put out the fire. According to the inspection report, the inspector told the manager to throw away all single-serve items, paper towels and food that were open to any contact from smoke or the extinguisher. Smoke reached the front kitchen area, but according to the inspection report, it did not go past the kitchen and into the lobby. A follow-up inspection later that day showed that all surfaces, utensils and cookware that came into contact with smoke were washed, rinsed and sanitized and any food affected was thrown away. A new water heater was installed and Panera was able to reopen after a follow-up inspection from inspectors. Panera's manager told ABC 17 News they could not do an interview, but said they reopened the following day and the fire was fairly small.

Chuck E. Cheese: 1/7/2020

  • Two critical violations: Employee drink and cleaning spray improperly stored.
  • One non-critical violation: Bulk container missing a label.

Arena Liquor (Providence Road): 1/2/2020

  • One critical violation: Microwave heavily soiled. According to the inspection report, this was cleaned at the time of the inspection.
  • Two non-critical violations: Pipe is leaking under the soda machine and the door to the soda cooler needs to be repaired. The inspection report said these two non-critical violations will be repaired by the next routine inspection.

Columbia Strength and Conditioning (Convenience Store): 1/2/2020, follow-up inspection on 1/6 showed all critical violations were corrected.

  • One critical violation: Creamer reading at 56 degrees Fahrenheit in the cooler. The inspection report said the creamer was thrown away at the time of the inspection.
  • One non-critical violation: Missing information on product labels from LOVE2NOURISH.

FastLane (Paris Road): 1/2/2020

  • One non-critical violation: Employee foods stored with establishment food in a cooler.

Phillips 66/Midwest Petroleum #85 (East Nifong Blvd): 1/3/2020, follow-up inspection on 1/6 showed all critical violations were corrected.

  • Two critical violations: Sliced ham and turkey did not have a date labeled on it and the facility was missing bleach test strips to check the sanitizer's concentration.
  • One non-critical violation: Dottie's express items were missing information, including a list of ingredients, where the items were made and the item quantity.

PepperJax's Grill: 1/6/2020

  • One critical violation: Inspectors noticed the scoop used to serve fries was broken. According to the inspection report, the scoop was replaced.

Tropical Smoothie Cafe: 1/6/2020

  • One non-critical violation: Packaged cookies were missing labels showing ingredients, quantity, where the items were made, possible allergens and a common name.

ABC 17 News Investigates / Behind the Kitchen Door / Boone / Columbia / Top Stories / Top Stories
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Zara Barker

Zara Barker is an anchor and investigative reporter for ABC 17 News. She anchors the Breaking News Desk during the morning newscast and anchors the 9 a.m. broadcast.


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