13 charges brought against owner of Pitt County catering busines - WNCT

13 charges brought against owner of Pitt County catering business

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The owner of what authorities call an illegal catering business now faces several charges.

The Pitt County Environmental Health Division charged Robbie Nicholson this week with 13 counts of misdemeanor public health violation.
     
Nicholson owns Robbie's Grill and Catering in Grimesland.
     
Inspectors say he ran the business without a food protection and sanitation permit in a metal building with no refrigeration or running water.

"There was a case of chicken sitting in muddy water from the roof that had not been open yet. There was food floating in water from previous days used. There were raw meats in coolers," said Angela Manning, Pitt County Health Inspector.

Court calendars show Nicholson's next court appearance is May 15.

--- Previous Story ---

A barn with no running water, electricity, or sewage disposal. Raw meat sitting out. Propane fueling a large gas stove. That's what Pitt County health inspectors came across Monday. They say many of Robbie Nicholson's clients had no clue.

"As far as I know, on the website, his old location is still listed up there. So for people that had been using him for a number of years, they didn't know he had moved out of the old site," said Pitt County Environmental Health Supervisor, Anne Clark.

Clark says Nicholson ran at least two catering businesses in the area in the past. He had permits for both.

So far, 11 clients have come forward to the health department. All of them are doctors' offices or businesses in the medical field.

"They were very concerned. We have not had anyone call and report any illnesses," said Clark.

But that doesn't mean people who have been exposed to the food aren't still at risk.

"It takes 30 days for hepatitis A to incubate," Clark said.

So how can you make sure the same thing doesn't happen to you?

Clark says one of the big clues to a non-permitted caterer is if they tell you they are catering out of their home. Restaurants should always have a sanitation score posted in the building. And most County Health Departments have a full list of scores on their website. If you can't find a restaurant or catering company there, Clark says that should raise a red flag.

New businesses won't pop up on the sites until they get their first inspections.

If you're ever in doubt, Clark says the best thing you can do is call your local Environmental Health Division.

Anyone who may have used Robbie's Grill and Catering (also known as Robbie's Catering) recently should contact the Pitt County Health Department's Environmental Health Division at (252) 902-3205.

--- Original Story ---

The Pitt County Health Department shut down an illegal catering business on Monday. After receiving an anonymous complaint, health inspectors investigated Robbie's Grill and Catering in Grimesland. The operation was being run without a NC Food Protection and Sanitation permit in a metal building near Grimesland Bridge Road.

Pitt County food and program specialist Angela Manning helped conduct the inspection and said the conditions inside the barn were unsanitary.

Inspectors say the building had no running water, electricity or sewage disposal. There was also an opening in the ceiling that was allowing rain in. Propane was fueling a large gas stove and deep fryers, but coolers with no ice were being used to store raw food.

" There was a case of chicken sitting in muddy water from the roof that had not been open yet. There was food floating in water from previous days used. There were raw meats in coolers," said Manning.

The Health Department is still trying to find Nicholson's customers, since their health could be in jeopardy.

"There is no means of cold holding any foods, no means of hot holding any food, so there truly there is no telling the variety of illnesses you might be dealing with, with conditions like this," said Manning.

Anyone who may have used Robbie's Grill and Catering (also known as Robbie's Catering) recently should contact the Pitt County Health Department's Environmental Health Division at (252) 902-3205.

North Carolina law says that restaurants and catering businesses must be permitted by the local health department to sell food. The permitting process ensures that establishments have running water, electricity, sewage disposal, proper food temperature, and that food is safely handled. This is all to prevent foodborne illnesses.

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