Ken’s to reopen today if it can pass latest health inspection

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Ken’s Donuts, usually open 24 hours a day, was forced to close for 48 hours after the business failed to meet inspection standards and received a third strike from the health department.
Photo Credit: Asa Johnson | Daily Texan Staff

Ken’s Donuts will reopen Friday if it passes the latest round of inspections from city and county health inspectors, after it failed to receive a score above 70 for three years in a row.

The Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department conducted the shop’s third failed inspection, and temporarily closed the shop for public safety concerns beginning Wednesday morning until today.

“They were closed for 48 hours, after which time they can reopen and will be inspected,” said Carole Barasch, communications manager for the department. 

Barasch said she did not readily have information regarding what happens to the shop if it fails for a fourth time.

McKay Proctor, supply chain management and English junior, said he was on his way to Ken’s Donuts late Wednesday night when he saw the health inspection sign from the city. 

“I was going to get a maple glaze last night and the sign on the door said they were closed until [Thursday], which was really unnerving,” Proctor said.

Proctor, who sits on the Texas Student Media board, also said student options for breakfast and baked goods are now limited without Ken’s providing customers a large variety, unseen elsewhere near campus.

“If I really want a maple glaze donut, I can’t get that anywhere else,” Proctor said.

Many turned to social media to condemn the donut shop, saying it needs to “get its act together” before anyone returns to grab a donut, among other criticisms.

Other UT students spoke in support of the donut shop’s beloved baked goods, despite any concerns with food safety.

“I personally depend on Ken’s for late night cheap donuts, that’s really what they’re good at,” Proctor said.  “In the long term, I think Ken’s donuts is a really important part of the culinary scene here on campus.”

Connor Hughes, a Plan II honors and biochemistry senior, considers himself a loyal Ken’s customer and says he goes to the donut shop to get his “vanilla sprinkle on” at least twice a week.

“I’m concerned about the health codes being broken, but I will be back in line when Ken’s opens back up,” Hughes said. “I just hope they fix the places they’ve done wrong and meet health standards so that I can enjoy my last morning as a UT student with a glazed bear claw.”

Government junior Ryan Rafols said the Ken’s management owes its students basic safety standards that it has failed to provide. 

“To the degree that was noted by the news that the owner sought to cover up the sign from the health inspector, I am confident in stating the owner blatantly must not understand the code or refuses to do what is best for the safety of his customers,” Rafols said.

Longtime Ken’s loyalists are gathering at the donut shop at 10 a.m. Saturday to show their support on what would be the shop’s second day after reopening if it earns a passing score.

“I’ll be leaving town before that occurs for spring break,” Proctor said. “But I will certainly be there in spirit.”