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Downtown Columbia restaurant cited with seven violations

Taj Mahal Indian Cuisine
Jack McCormick
Sign outside Taj Mahal Indian Cuisine in downtown Columbia, Mo.


A downtown Columbia restaurant topped this week's list of inspections with four critical violations and three non-critical violations.

Taj Mahal's inspection shows that when inspectors visited the restaurant on Oct. 30, they found food that was at the wrong temperature, uncovered food and clean dishes with food debris on them, just to name a few.

Taj Mahal, 10/30, all critical violations corrected at a re-inspection on 11/4: Four critical violations -- Food was out of temperature, food uncovered throughout the establishment with the risk of cross-contamination, buffet was missing sneeze guards and clean dishes were dirty with food debris. Three non-critical violations: Cutting boards are no longer cleanable and need to be replaced, missing thermometer in a dishwasher and coolers were dirty inside and out, according to the inspection report.

Taj Mahal was forced to shut its doors twice in May 2017 after a gas leak and inspectors cited the restaurant with more than 40 health code violations.

ABC 17 News contacted Taj Mahal's owner who said they have corrected all the critical violations.

Susheel Gill, owner of Taj Mahal told ABC 17 News the restaurant “provides high standards for customers in our cuisine.”

“We have made constructive movements to make sure this does not happen again," Gill added.

All critical violations were either corrected on the spot or during the routine inspection, or a follow-up inspection was scheduled where the critical violations are expected to be corrected.

All eateries inspected:

Bliss Adult Daycare, 10/31: Two critical violations -- No towels at hand sink and no test kit for the sanitizer.

Casey's Convenience Store (Ashland), 10/24: One critical violation -- Peanut brittle packaged without a label.

Chuck E. Cheese, 10/24: One non-critical violation -- No one present with manager training.

Columbia Country Club (Down, Fireside Grill), 11/1: Three critical violations -- Sanitizer concentration in dish machine and bottles was not at the proper level and test strips were missing. Follow-up scheduled for Nov. 4.

Columbia Country Club (Up, McAlester Dining Room), 11/1: Four critical violations -- Dirty ice guard in the ice machine, hand washing sink has dishes in it, missing soap and no drying method at the handwashing sink. Three non-critical violations -- food stored on the floor, light shown beneath a door and a door did not close properly. Follow-up scheduled for Nov. 4

Ernie's, 10/30: Follow-up completed and critical violations corrected on 11/5. Three critical violations -- Employee touching ready-to-eat food with their bare hand, coffee machine drains into handwashing sink and the employee restroom did not have towels.

Hoss's Market & Rotisserie, 10/31: Follow-up completed and critical violations corrected on 11/1. Two critical violations -- No test kit for bleach and no sanitizer coming out of the dishwasher. Three non-critical violations -- Food stored on the floor in a cooler and freezer, items near the cash register did not have a label and the freezer was broken.

Imo's Pizza, 10/29: Two critical violations -- Dirty dish rack and sanitizer is too low. The inspection note also said the inspector discussed storing ice scoops properly.

Insomnia Cookies, 10/31: One critical violation -- No soap at the front handwashing sink.

Italian Village (Vandiver Drive), 10/29: One critical violation -- No sanitizer test strips. One non-critical violation -- Dirty bread container and dough mixer.

Italian Village (West Broadway), 10/29: One critical violation -- Food not labeled for seven days after being pulled from the freezer. Two non-critical violations -- Frozen food was not kept frozen and food was stored on the floor in a cooler.

Jersey Mike's Subs (Grindstone Parkway), 10/23: One critical violation -- Concentration too high in a sanitizer bucket. The inspection note said the inspector discussed getting new cutting boards soon, wiping down fans in a cooler and having food handler cards and ServSafe certification at the establishment.

Longhorn Steakhouse, 10/30: Two critical violations -- Employee drink sitting on a counter next to bread and the dish machine was not reading the sanitizer properly. One non-critical violation -- Debris under shelving in a storage area.

Los Cuates #2 (Paris Road), 10/30, follow-up completed and critical violations corrected on 11/1: Two critical violations -- Employee medicine stored incorrectly and dirty microwaves.

MidiCi, 10/30 and 11/4: Four critical violations -- Mold in an ice chute, no test kit for sanitizer, sanitizer too low in the buckets and no towels at a handwashing sink.

Mod Pizza (Conley Road), 10/31: One critical violation -- Sanitation concentration too low.

Nuu Thai, 11/1: One non-critical violation -- No one present with manager training.

Panera Bread (Columbia Mall), 10/28: One critical violation -- Dish machine not sanitizing. One non-critical violation -- Food stored on the floor of a cooler.

Phoenix Programs, 10/30: Two critical violations: Raw bacon stored with ready-to-eat foods and dented cans. The inspection note also said the inspector discussed pest control methods.

Pizza Haus, 10/24: Three non-critical violations: Missing thermometer, missing handwashing sign and the bathroom door is not self-closing.

Rainbow House, 11/1: One non-critical violation: Bottom of the freezer was dirty.

Sub Shop (Nifong Boulevard), 11/4: Three non-critical violations: No food handler cards on file, no one present with manager training and packaged items were not labeled with a date.

Tropical Smoothie Cafe (North Stadium Boulevard), 10/24 and 10/30: One critical violation -- Foods were not in the correct temperature range.

Wendy's (Clark Lane), 10/31: One critical violation -- blocked handwashing sink.

Eateries without any violations at the time of the inspection:

  • 12 Baskets Kitchen, 10/29
  • Alpha Hart Lewis Elementary School, 10/30
  • B&B Bagel Company, 10/29
  • Beulah Ralph Elementary School, 10/25
  • Boone Appetit Cafe, 10/31
  • Boone Hospital, 10/31
  • Bright Start Academy, 11/1
  • Camacho Coffee, 10/29
  • Central Mo Food Bank, 10/24
  • Central Mo Food Bank Pantry, 10/25
  • Close to Home Adult Daycare, 10/31
  • The Coffee Zone, 10/30, follow-up to a September inspection.
  • Columbia Public Schools warehouse, 10/30
  • Center of Responsive Education (CORE), 11/4
  • Cosmo Club, 10/30
  • Dunkin Donuts/Baskin-Robbins, 10/31
  • Fairfield Inn, 10/30
  • Fastlane (Paris Road), 10/30
  • Great Circle (Bearfield Road), 10/23: the inspection note said the inspector discussed getting boxes off the ground in a freezer.
  • Gumby's (Rainforest Parkway), 10/28
  • Hardee's (Paris Road), 10/29
  • Hickman Concessions (Indoor), 10/24
  • HyVee Cairbou Coffee (Nifong Boulevard), 11/1
  • HyVee Cairbou Coffee (Conley), 11/1: the inspection note said the facility needs an air gap by the next routine inspection.
  • IHOP, 10/30
  • Kaldi's Coffee, 10/30
  • Little Caesar's Pizza (Brickton Road), 10/31 and 11/4
  • Logboat Brewery. 10/31
  • McAlister's Deli (Grindstone Parkway), 10/29
  • Mill Creek Elementary School, 10/25
  • Mosers (Business Loop 70 East), 10/31
  • Noodles and Company (Conley Road), 10/23
  • Old Hawthorne Country Club, 10/29: the inspection note said the inspector discussed alcohol server cards during the inspection.
  • Osaka, 11/5
  • Petro Mart #2 (North Stadium Boulevard), 11/1: the inspection note said the inspector discussed alcohol server cards during the inspection.
  • Petro Mart No. 46 (West Ash Street), 11/1: the inspection note said the inspector discussed server cards during the inspection.
  • Poppy's Place, 10/28
  • Rock Bridge Elementary, 10/25
  • Ruby Tuesday, 10/31
  • Sake Japanese Bistro, 10/30
  • Show Me BBQ, 10/29
  • Sonic (Brickton Road), 10/31
  • Starbucks Coffee (inside West Broadway HyVee), 11/1: the inspection note said the facility needs an air gap by the next routine inspection.
  • Starbucks Coffee (inside West Broadway Gerbes), 11/1
  • Terrace Retirement Apartments, 10/31
  • The 5th Down Bar & Grill, 10/28 : the inspection note said the inspectors discussed a seal and having date labels.
  • The Grind Coffee House (Forum Boulevard), 10/29: the inspection note said a new cooler was installed.
  • Tiger Bounce, 11/4
  • Tropical Smoothie Cafe (East Broadway), 10/31
  • Two Mile Prairie Elementary School, 10/24
Article Topic Follows: Behind the Kitchen Door
behind the kitchen door
food inspection
health inspections
restaurant inspections

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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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