cockroaches in mall food court

12-6-19 UPDATE:

KENNEWICK, WA - For the second time in three weeks, Benton Franklin Health Inspectors asked the owner of Bruchi's at the mall food court to close after they found evidence of breeding cockroaches.

Health inspectors were following up on their inspection from a few weeks back, when a Facebook post of a dead cockroach in a food display case went viral.

An inspector says the establishments are working hard to deal with the problem and the restaurants are looking better.

Bruchi's was able to open back up the same day after having pest control return to the restaurant.

Inspectors also checked two other restaurants in the mall this week that initially had evidence of cockroaches weeks ago, but did not need to shut them down.


KENNEWICK, WA - Health inspectors with Benton-Franklin Health District paid a visit to Columbia Center Mall's food court and found that 7 of the 14 restaurants showed signs of cockroaches.

Three of the restaurants showed signs of live insects. The Health Department recommended that Bruchi's shut down, which they did.

The other six restaurants with signs of cockroaches were: Fruta Rayada El Rey, Ivar's Seafood Bar, Kabab N Grill House, Sbarro, Ruby Thai Kitchen, and Auntie Anne's Pretzels.

NBC Right Now does not know for certain the amount of cockroaches found in other restaurants. A spokesperson says that it can be as little as a dead cockroach found inside to be reported. But, that isn't enough to close down the restaurant.      

"Once we get into that infestation, that's when we are taking it up a notch and again reaching out to ownership and working with them to really to find the best option to control this population, this active breeding population at the facility," said Lars Richins, Food Safety Supervisor.

Health inspectors categorize inspections in two categories: high-risk, which are issues linked to food borne illnesses, and low-risk, which are things like pests.

Food Safety staff members are working with the restaurants at the mall and will be making another visit within one to two weeks.

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