EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

August 14, 2013

Andover eatery raises health concerns

ANDOVER — One of Andover’s newest downtown eateries has two months to clean up its act or risk being shut down for good.

Pizza Connection on Park Street was called before the Board of Health for a show-cause hearing Monday night after town inspectors reported problems with spoiled food, general cleanliness issues and more during recent inspections.

The Health Board voted to continue the hearing to revoke the restaurant’s food permit for two months, but not before sending a clear message to Jeffrey Wise, co-owner of the restaurant, which has been open for less than a year.

“Typically in restaurants, or any other place that sells food, the first year, they’re very compliant with the rules and, as time goes by, they may become a little complacent and fall through the cracks,” board member Gopala Dwarakanath said. “In regards to Pizza Connection, from the moment it was open, there were violations. I’m really surprised the start itself wasn’t a good start.”

The Health Department has received two complaints about Pizza Connection’s food in recent months. Health Director Tom Carbone said on April 29, someone reported getting sick after eating at the restaurant. Another complaint was lodged on Aug. 1 after sandwiches from the restaurant contained spoiled meat, according to Carbone.

Health officials made two visits to the restaurant following the August report and found issues had not only gone unresolved, but worsened, prompting them to order the restaurant to close for business the first weekend of the month. The restaurant reopened Monday, Aug. 5, and the show-cause hearing was then scheduled to take possible action, Carbone said.

On Monday night, the Board of Health ordered the restaurant to hire a private inspection service to monitor the operation. It also called for continued town-driven health inspections and a follow-up discussion in October.

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