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‘Cockroach infestation’ forces brief closure of El Pollo Loco in Citrus Heights

El Pollo Loco is located 7600 Greenback Lane in Citrus Heights. // CH Sentinel

By Thomas J. Sullivan–
The El Pollo Loco restaurant at the corner of Greenback Lane and Mariposa Avenue was forced to close its doors on Wednesday, following an unscheduled Sacramento County health inspection.

Brenda Bongiorno, communication and media officer for Sacramento County, said an inspector had found “significant evidence of vermin and cockroach infestation” which prompted him to immediately close the premises. The inspection occurred at 9:50 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 14, before the restaurant was due to open.

The restaurant was re-certified by Sacramento County to open the next day, Aug. 15, after restaurant management provided satisfactory evidence that the infestation had been fully eradicated, she said.

A reviewer on Yelp had commented on Aug. 13 about finding a cockroach in her bag, after ordering from the Citrus Heights El Pollo Loco restaurant. Reviewers overall give the location at 7600 Greenback Ln. an average rating of 3-out-of-5 stars.

According to an inspection report obtained by The Sentinel, the inspector had observed “at least 15 live cockroaches” along walls in a dry storage area, five along walls below a wash sink, and two behind the ice machine.

The report described the violation as “major,” which the county categorizes as “an immediate threat to public health and have the potential to cause foodborne illness.” Major violations are required to be corrected immediately, while less severe violations are given a specified length of time to correct.

Restaurant management contacted by The Sentinel referred questions concerning the issue to El Pollo Loco’s corporate office, who were unavailable for comment.

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