UPDATE: Veraci Pizza only shut down for a few minutes
UPDATE: 12:20 p.m. Veraci Pizza was able to resolve the issues with the Health Department and will be open again next Sunday at the Ballard Farmers Market.
Turns out, it mostly just came down to workers running out of paper towels, co-owner Errin Byrd said in a phone interview. They had a handwashing station setup -- contrary to what the Public Health website states -- but just needed something to dry their hands with to fall within the proper guidelines. They were able to resolve the issues within minutes and in fact reopened a few minutes later.
Byrd also noted that they had left out olive oil for over two hours, which she said is a personal guideline that they failed. The health department's guideline is four hours, but inspectors still marked Veraci down for failing to fall within their own guidelines.
The health department also noted potentially hazardous food that were cooked at inadequate temperatures. Byrd said that there were indeed a few pizzas that fit the description, but they threw those out.
This is the first time Veraci has been closed down for health reasons in the eight years they have been open.
"We felt horrible about this ... we’ve been doing this for eight years and this has never happened," Byrd said. "But it has, and now we’re going to use this as a learning opportunity."
Now Byrd will be contacting the health department to get a permit, which means her business will need to be inspected again, she said.
"It’s surprising and disappointing to have something like this happen. But we did fix it and are back up.”
Byrd also left a detailed comment, which can be found below.
The popular pizza joint at the Ballard Farmers Market, Veraci Pizza, Inc., was shut down yesterday, Nov. 4, by the Seattle and King County Department of Public Health.
According to the Department's food establishment closure website, Veraci was closed for the following reasons:
- Potentially hazardous foods at unsafe temperatures
- Inadequate facilities to control temperature of potentially hazardous food (cold holding)
- Poor personal hygiene practices: not washing hands
- Handwashing facilities unavailable
The Ballard News-Tribune will update when it opens back up again. Until then, folks will have to get their pizza fix elsewhere.