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FORSYTH — O'Charley's restaurant in Forsyth was shut down Monday afternoon after the Macon County Health Department uncovered a number of issues during a restaurant inspection, according to documents.

The restaurant received a score of 56 on the inspection conducted Monday. The health department automatically closes any restaurant that scores below 60, according to the Macon County Food Sanitation Ordinance. A score of 84 or below requires a re-inspection within 30 days. 

The restaurant had reopened by noon Tuesday. David Ellis, vice president of marketing with the O'Charley's chain, issued a statement to the Herald & Review Tuesday: "O'Charley's is dedicated to providing a quality dining experience to our guests. After receiving yesterday's health scores, we addressed them immediately and reopened the restaurant this morning after all issues had been addressed. 

"We use an independent third party to evaluate our safety and health standards and are making immediate adjustments to our procedures as needed moving forward. Of paramount importance, O'Charley's values the safety of our guests and team members and holds all of our restaurants to only the highest standards."  

The Herald & Review received the full inspection report through a Freedom of Information Act request. Among issues it cited were shelves that needed cleaning, dishware that was not properly protected, a box of fish in a cooler dripping onto another container of meat, ham in a cooler that was past the use-by date and plumbing installed incorrectly in the mop sink area. 

Read the full report: 

Typically, restaurants that score below 60 are given 24 hours to fix their violations, Macon County Health Department Inspector Rob Danbury said. They are then reinspected and allowed to open if all violations are addressed. 

The restaurant received two critical violations for improper storage of a toxic substance, which had spilled and was not cleaned up, according to the report. The second critical violation was for a plumbing problem.

The restaurant will be reinspected in 10 days to see if the critical violations have been fixed, according to the report.

Danbury said scores below 85 are not uncommon, but declined to comment about specific numbers without a Freedom of Information Act request. 

Staff writers Tony Reid and Claire Hettinger contributed to this story.

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