February 27, 2024

Boston Shawarma Closed for Food Safety Violations

Health officials closed Boston Shawarma after finding more than a dozen food safety violations during an inspection. The violations discovered during an April 30 inspection included problems with food temperature, cross contamination and employee hygiene. Storage problems included a box of rotten cucumbers stores in the walk-in cooler. Raw food was stored next to ready-to-eat food. Holding temperatures included cooked chicken that was held at 125˚F and falafel held at 83˚F when both should have been held at 140 ˚F or above to prevent bacteria from rapidly multiplying. Cut tomatoes were held at 65˚F, stuffed olive leaves at 46˚F and garlic in oil at 57˚F  when all should have been held at or below 41˚F. The temperature of gyro meat on the vertical broiler should have been 165˚F but … [Read more...]

Food Safety Violations Temporarily Close Eva Longoria’s Vegas Restaurant

Food safety violations triggered a temporary closure of actress Eva Longoria's Las Vegas steakhouse, She by Morton's, according to the Southern Nevada Health District. The restaurant was clsoed only briefly and is now open. On April 22, health inspectors visited the restaurant at 3720 Las Vegas Blvd., and found 32 food safety demerits including violations for food temperature violations during preparation, transport, display and holding.  On April 30, inspectors revisited the restaurant and found 21 demerits, some were again for food temperature violations. They ordered that the restaurant be closed until the problem was corrected. When food is not held at the proper temperature, bacteria can multiply rapidly and cause illness if eaten. Restaurants and home cooks need to keep hot … [Read more...]

NYC Lowers Fines in Restaurant Grading System, Again

For the second time in less than a year, New York City has reduced restaurant health inspection fines, restoring them to levels that existed prior to its restaurant grading system which began in 2010. The program, which requires restaurants to post the letter grade of their health inspection in their front window, has been credited with improving food safety and helping to drive the number of reported cases of Salmonella poisoning in the city to the lowest level in 20 years. While popular with diners, the program has not been a huge hit with restaurant owners who have complained that fines left to the discretion of inspectors have been overly burdensome. The new changes include fixed penalties and the opportunity to request as a consultation,  an ungraded, penalty-free inspection that … [Read more...]

Expensive Restaurants Aren’t Always Safe Restaurants

According to Voactiv.com, four of New York City's Michelin-starred restaurants have received C grades from the Department of Health this year. The scoring of restaurants is based on whether there is a public health hazard, critical violations, or general violations of food safety and cleanliness rules. Some violations include failing to keep food at a safe temperature (under 40 degrees or over 140 degrees F), serving raw produce without washing it first, or not properly sanitizing cooking utensils. The letter grades are given according to the number of violations in each public health inspection visit. Restaurants with a score between 0 and 13 points get an A; 14 to 27 points earns a B; and those with 28 or more points have a C grade. The restaurants that received a C grade include … [Read more...]

Salmonella Outbreak Associated with Big TIm’s BBQ Restaurant in St. Petersburg Florida

Florida health inspection records show that Big Tim's BBQ restaurant in St. Petersburg, Florida was closed last month after inspections revealed many problems with equipment, cleanliness, and rodent activity. A report by 10News in Tampa Bay said that the restaurant may have been the source of a Salmonella outbreak that sickened several people in June. Three of those cases were confirmed by the state lab. Some of the violations included high priority problems, including live roaches in the kitchen beside prep area and the pork chopping station, and "too many [roaches] to count" in the kitchen area under the main prep table, along with rodent droppings found throughout the kitchen. Other violations included no soap or paper towels at the sinks; food held at dangerous temperatures; and no … [Read more...]

Burma Superstar Scored Well on Inspections Before E. coli Outbreak

The Burma Superstar restaurant in San Francisco that is at the center of a city and state E. coli investigation has had a history of mostly low-risk food safety violations, according to a review of health department inspection documents by Food Poisoning Bulletin. One person has been hospitalized in the outbreak for a life-threatening case of HUS kidney failure and a total of 14 ill people are considered case patients. Food poisoning investigators for the San Francisco Department of Public Health and the California Department of Public Health are trying to pinpoint the cause, but nine of the outbreak victims reportedly ate at Burma Superstar in mid-August before falling ill. The City and County of San Francisco's  Environmental Health inspection findings show only one high-risk … [Read more...]

Saginaw County Michigan Puts Restaurant Inspections Online

The Saginaw County Department of Public Health has put restaurant inspection findings online for the public to see. That county joins many municipalities and states around the country that post results online. There are 668 licensed eateries in the county. Inspections are unannounced and conducted every six months or twelve months. The inspection reports date back to January 1, 2012. Consumers can search by street name or address, or by the name of the restaurant. The Department of Public Health inspects restaurants, bars, night clubs, coffee shops, ice cream shops, and school and worksite cafeterias, among others. Low risk establishments serve non-potentially hazardous foods and are inspected once a year. Medium risk establishments cook and serve potentially hazardous foods and are … [Read more...]

Suspected Food Poisoning At Chicago’s Orange on Roscoe Prompts Inspection

A suspected case of food poisoning and a complaint has led to an inspection at Orange on Roscoe in Roscoe Village in Chicago Illinois. The Chicago Department of Public Health's Food Protection Program has details about the inspection report at the restaurant. There is no word on what pathogen may have caused the alleged food poisoning. The inspection date is 1/0/13, with Risk 1 (High). Under Chicago's system, restaurants are graded using a standardized procedure. They can pass, pass with conditions, or fail. Orange on Roscoe passed the inspection with no critical or serious violations. During the inspection, the inspector found an ice machine that needed to be sanitized. He also found walls behind the storage shelves that needed cleaning. Splash guards needed to be installed between … [Read more...]

After Bad Report, Louisiana Unveils New Restaurant Inspection Plan

After a recent report published by  Nola.com and the The Times-Picayune revealed that New Orleans had fewer restaurant inspections than most cities and that many of the city's restaurant's hadn't been inspected at all during 2012, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals unveiled a new plan sto strengthen food safety inspections.  The plan, announced December 20, will be rolled out in stages during the coming year. The department has been developing the plan, which will centralize and standardize the inspection process,  since February. "In February, we took aggressive steps to begin assessing our processes and implemented a pilot project in the field that would improve performance and productivity, with real-time measurements to evaluate how we are doing,"  said Department of … [Read more...]

Report Questions Efficacy of Restaurant Inspections in Louisiana

A report filed on November 21, 2012 by the Louisiana Legislative Auditor questions whether restaurant inspections are working to prevent foodborne illness. The report found that the Office of Public Health (OPH) issues permits to some retail food establishments that have uncorrected violations. In addition, the OPH rarely uses formal enforcement actions to address violations, and their current enforcement process does not deter noncompliance. Finally, OPH did not always conduct the required number of inspections, and inspection results are not fully disclosed to the public. The report states that from fiscal year 2009 to 2011, permits to operate were issued to 13% of establishments that had critical food safety violations and 33% of establishments with non-critical violations that … [Read more...]

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