WESTBOROUGH, Mass. — The Board of Health chose not to act on the food service permit of Westborough's Regatta Deli, but it did ask for better communication after "recurring" code violations.
"It's not a question of wanting to be shut down," Board of Health member Priscilla Federici said at a hearing to discuss revoking the deli's permit. "Do you want to cooperate with the Board of Health, is my question, and I don't feel like up to this point you have."
The most recent violations were highlighted by town health inspector Terry Gilchrist, who reported recent renovations done at the deli without permits. She also noted a lack of labels on packaged food required to list ingredients for consumers with food allergies.
Under Massachusetts law, the deli's replacement of ceiling tiles and equipment, as well as a shelving unit in a storage room, would have been denied had the Board of Health been notified, Gilchrist said.
The labeling violations date to 2007, and a similar non-permitted renovation took place in 2003, Gilchrist said.
"This is not the first time they've remodeled the facility without any approvals," she said.
All of the work was done to correct things asked of the deli during previous inspections, said Michael Prizio, general manager for the deli's two locations.
The floor and the ceiling tiles, two of the items replaced, dated to the deli's opening in 1991, he said.
"We are a family business," he said. "We work hard to try to provide the best for our customers and the people of this town."
The deli's owner, Joanne Prizio, told the board that she felt "bullied" by Gilchrist and that the situation was not productive. The business has every intent to comply with the board, Prizio said.
"I thought the job of the health department was to educate, not punitive actions," she said. "I'm not here to make friends with [Gilchrist], but at least teach me something, show me something."
The board agreed to not act upon the violations with the condition that progress be made in bringing the deli up to code and that an inspection be conducted by building inspector Tin Tway.
Board of Health member Alan Ehrlich also suggested that a communication document be drawn up to outline the responsibilities and necessary communication required from both parties.