By Marissa Perlman

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A long-time South Sacramento restaurant has been shut down, at least for now. Health inspectors found rats and cockroaches inside the building.

It’s the first time in 25 years the Sacramento County Environmental Management Department has revoked a restaurants permit.

The North Border Operation on 47th Avenue has had multiple health violations, and now the health department is shutting it down. But the owner also runs taco trucks, and they will still be hitting the streets and serving up food.

Owner Damian Avalos calls the decision, “political” and “unfair.” He said, “Clearly our food isn’t the issue, what is the issue?”

It was a unanimous vote from the County Board of Supervisors to shut down the North Border Taco facility.

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“It’s great to have businesses like ours here, businesses period. Now, the neighborhood is going to be what it was before us,” said Avalos.

His family has run the restaurant for years. He also has four taco trucks in circulation, but the brick and mortar restaurant has had repeated health and safety code violations. That includes a vermin infestation and sewage issues.

Most recently, a customer complained about spoiled food. At least nine times, health inspectors found cockroaches inside.

One board member asked Avalos during the hearing, “That’s your kitchen, how do you deal with that? Do you just ignore it?”

In December, Avalos received a violation that ordered him to cease operations from their facility. But, they still prepped food there for their taco trucks.

He said, “I’m not saying it was okay. It wasn’t every day, that I was prepping there.”

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The lawyer for the Health Department said, “The restaurant by Mr. Avalos’ own admission was being used as a commissary for the food truck. It was not permitted as a commissary for the food trucks at any point.”

Avalos says the County Health Department was out a few months ago and gave the restaurant a good report.

“We were given the green from the health department, and now we’re here,” he said.

But now the restaurant will go dark after a unanimous vote to revoke the permit.

He will still be able to operate his food trucks around the area, as long as he finds a new, clean, facility to prep his trucks. Avalos can immediately apply for a permit again, but there are a number of hoops he would have to jump through. It wouldn’t be issued until the Environmental Management Department is satisfied that he would get his permit once again.

Marissa Perlman


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