A Freedom of Information Act Request filed with the city of Abilene detailed why the Abilene Country Club recently received such a low-rated health inspection score.
The Abilene Country Club scored a 63 -- on a 100-point scale -- on July 13 when the city inspected its restaurant, according to city documents. The score ranked near the bottom for Abilene restaurants.
During the the inspection, the city discovered fruit -- including cantaloupe, honey dew and watermelon -- was stored at 48-degrees Fahrenheit . The city said the temperature to store such items needs to should be stored at 40 to 45-degrees Fahrenheit.
On Aug. 17, KTXS reported that the Abilene-Taylor County Public Health District sent letters to doctors confirming 64 cases of type D salmonella in Abilene, noting 35 of the cases were possibly linked to the Abilene Country Club.
Abilene's Environmental Health Manager Glenn Bailey, who inspects restaurants, said the overall food score isn't a determining factor when determining if a restaurant is shutdown.
"A closure occurs because there is an imminent health hazard -- regardless of the score," Bailey said.
According to health officials, improper temperatures in produce can be a breeding ground for salmonella.
"It can be a cold hold temperature, like melons that have been sliced," Bailey said. "If they have been placed in a refrigerator that is not holding at least 41 degrees or below, that's salmonella, if it's on that product it will grow."
Officials said salmonella can also be caused from many different things, including improper cooking of chicken. Since the investigation, the city said the country club has shown improvement.
"From the time that we stepped foot on the country club to do the original investigation, they have been compliment in everything and cooperative in everything that we have asked them to do," Bailey said.
The health inspector reiterated the public to know a low score doesn't always directly reflect whether or not a restaurant is safe. It depends on how severe the individual violations are, Bailey said.