By Matt Petrillo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Northeast Philadelphia hoagie shop refused to close after the owner says a city health inspector made a false statement involving its employees not wearing masks. The owner of Fink’s Hoagies not only insists he and his employees were wearing masks during an inspection last week, but he has the photos to prove it.

Fink’s Hoagies posted photos online taken by a security camera from inside the shop on Wednesday, Jan. 6.

(credit: Fink’s Hoagies)

That’s the day the owner says he received a citation for employees not wearing masks.

But if you take a close look, Fink says the photos show all workers are wearing masks during the time of the inspection.

(credit: Fink’s Hoagies)

You can also see the health inspector, who workers say is behind the counter in the gray coat.

(credit: Fink’s Hoagies)

“Small businesses are taking a big hit economically,” said Philadelphia Councilmember Bobby Henon.

He came by the shop Monday morning during a reinspection.

“They’re open for business, they’re in total compliance,” Henon said.

“I just wanted to make sure, you know, that I stop by and had my presence in front of the health department as well as in front, supporting the small business,” Henon said.

But Fink’s has had violations before.

The shop admitted online that on Dec. 3 it was cited by the health department for not having a barrier between workers and customers.

Then on Dec. 11, the owner was cited for his mask not covering his nose. He closed down for two days.

But when the inspector came back more than three weeks later on Jan. 6 for a reinspection, Fink believes she was upset he had already reopened.

Following an argument, Fink says the inspector “falsely states” in a report employees were not covering their mouths even while his security camera appears to show otherwise.

In a statement, the health department said: “All restaurants are absolutely allowed to dispute the findings of inspections. This facility is afforded that opportunity as well. If they made a complaint and the complaint was founded, the inspector could be subject to the discipline process proscribed in the City’s labor agreements.”

Meantime, Henon says since Fink’s online post, threats have been made to the Philadelphia Health Department and its inspector.

He says that needs to stop and adds all employees deserve to feel safe to work in the city.


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