Putnam County restaurant reopens after photos of rats go viral

Hook Fish and Chicken management says they have made changes

PALATKA, Fla. – A Putnam County restaurant has reopened after photos of rats in the restaurant went viral, but health inspectors are scheduled to return Thursday. 

Photos of large rats on the window sill at the Hook Fish and Chicken restaurant in Palatka have been shared on social media hundreds of times.

On July 4, restaurant personnel said that they have made changes and that's why their doors are open again.

It was the photos of rats in a Hook Fish and Chicken restaurant in Palatka that caused shock and disgust on social media. 

Brian Webb's mother saw the photos.

"She wasn't coming back here. I don't blame her," Webb said. "I hope they get it (together) I've heard great things about this place."

As of July 4, the restaurant had been cited three times in the last week.

A June 28 report showed small flying insects in kitchen food preparation area, or food storage area. Rodent droppings were found on the prep table, front counter, dish-wash/storage area, under the food storage shelves and in a corner next to the hand wash sink.

There were two more reports June 29 that said the same. The restaurant was forced to close its doors.
But it reopened July 4.

"Everything is exactly as they wanted. Any issue they had have been corrected," said Anita Pinckney, food safety manager. "We have a professional team of exterminators that we are contracted with. They visit the building on a weekly to make sure we're never going to have this type of situation again."

Despite the previous mistakes, Pinckney hopes customers will return again.

"Its a very clean restaurant," Pinckney said. "We have a professional staff. We are definitely above the standards the health department has set now."

Management said they are apologetic but now they are hopeful their customers will return.

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