Health inspections are not easy

The field of public health inspection is not easy; it is a difficult job, yet gratifying. I remember inspecting restaurants that were notorious for non-compliance and trying to work with them to improve their food safety behaviors. I believed in quality inspections and not quantity as health inspections are essentially a snap shot in time and I wanted to make a difference.

Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t and it is frustrated when you feel like you haven’t made a difference. So I get the ideology of fines as a method to increase compliance.
But do fines actually work or is it the cost of doing business for some operators? What will the establishment look like in a month or two, did we influence change or not? I have done this in the past where I charged a facility for a number of significant non-conformance’s and they subsequently cleaned up, but a month later, they regressed to the same state that I initially found them. Our department did not have a risk-based approach at that time and so the operator wasn’t expecting me for another year…surprise…

It is all about behavior and behavior change.

The owner of an East Tilbury sandwich bar has been slapped with a fine of almost two-and-a-half thousand pounds.
The owner of Nancy’s Sandwich Bar has been ordered to pay £2,353 for failure to comply with food safety legislation.
Daniel Wood appeared at Basildon Magistrates on Monday July 24, 2017 and pleaded guilty to 11 food hygiene offences, following a visit by Thurrock Council’s food safety team in September last year.
Inspectors visited the premises and found a makeshift kitchen had been set up in a room previously used for storage without consideration to food hygiene or public safety.
As a result, the food outlet was rated with a ‘1’ on the Food Standards Agency’s food hygiene rating scheme.
But the owner has since made improvements and the bar’s rating has gone up to ‘4’.
The bar was fined £1,230 and ordered to pay £1,000 costs and £123 victim surcharge.
Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhoods, Cllr Sue MacPherson said: “During the visit, the premises and equipment were found in a filthy condition, but I am pleased to see that improvements have since been made.”

 

Supplier Food Safety- Frog in Salad

Health inspection of the implicated premise reveals no food safety infractions one week after an incident involving a frog in a woman’s salad. That really doesn’t tell us much, what about the suppliers? Was an investigation conducted, if so, what happened? This is not the first time people have found extraneous things like frogs in their salads and may not be the last.

Anastasios Manaras of the The Weekly Observer writes

A woman from California was shocked and angry when she found a frog inside her salad in a well-known restaurant.
Shawna Cepeda wrote a review of her restaurant experience on July 22, saying her salad was bitter. “I had eaten 4 spoons when I noticed it had a strange taste and I thought maybe the sauce was bitter and mixed the salad when I discovered a little frog.
He warned the restaurant manager, who brought her another salad. Customer satisfaction and quality control are our highest priorities. We take incidents like this very seriously, “said Gabriel Levin, head of the BJ restaurant chain.
He added that the company is conducting an internal investigation and will contact the suppliers “to make sure that something similar will not happen again in the future. Cepeda said she did not have to pay for her meal, but the restaurant asked her to pay for her drinks. The restaurant also gave her a $ 50 gift card.
“It seems inconceivable to me that it has passed through the suppliers and reached the final customer without any notice,” says Cepeda. Cepeda also bothered that the restaurant staff did not notify other customers that lettuce in their salads might be contaminated. 

“The restaurant was full. There were many children and I think that bothered me more. ” She added that after her meal in the restaurant she felt sick. On July 25, she visited a doctor who confirmed that she did not had salmonella, but she may had some bacterial infection and take antibiotics.

 

$19K fine for dirty restaurant in Canberra

Canberra, the former sheep farm that is now the capital of Australia, has fined a restaurant owner $19,000 after he admitted he had neglected the shop and not cleaned it for about a month.

Alexandra Back of The Canberra Times reports the Hawker business was inspected in May last year when authorities found evidence of food build-up and debris around the food preparation areas.

They also found live and dead cockroaches and uncovered food stored on the floor. The equipment used to transport pie meat was unclean and on one container a plastic bag was being used as a lid.

Prosecutors said the level of uncleanliness was “disturbing”.

The 54-year-old owner, Vinh Quoc Vinh, pleaded guilty to five food safety offences relating to storage, hand washing facilities, maintenance, cleanliness and pests.

The offences happened more than a year ago and the Oriental Hot Bake shop has been compliant since. There was evidence pest controllers had been called to the shop every couple of months.

The ACT Magistrates Court heard the owner usually cleaned the shop once a week. But in what his lawyer described as “exceptional” circumstances the shop had been neglected because a member of his family was very ill.

He had been running the business for 12 years.

 

Everyone has a camera Toronto bakery edition: ‘Disgusting’ video shows mice feeding on pastry

CTV News reports the pastries in the window of a downtown Toronto confection shop were supposed to lure hungry humans, but they ended up attracting mice.

Mohammad Valipour captured the ravenous rodents on video as they nibbled on a tray of baklava visible through a window inside Meli Baklava & Chocolate Bar.

He told CTV Toronto he believes he could also see feces around the trays. “It was disgusting,” Valipour said.

Co-owner Julie Kyriakaki says the building has a rodent problem but is adamant that none of the pastries that sit out for display are served to the public.

Kyriakaki showed off drawers full of desserts under the countertop that she says she and her staff use to keep the food safe from pests.

“Even if I didn’t have food here, the mice could still be on the window, because they go everywhere” she said. She also showed off mousetraps inside the store.

Meli Baklava & Chocolate Bar displays a green DineSafe sign in its window, indicating that it has met food safety standards outlined in the Ontario Food Premises Regulation and municipal by-laws. The sign shows the business was last inspected on Feb. 6, 2017.

The bakery has passed four inspections, the first in November 2015, according to online DineSafe records. It received two infractions in that time, one for failing to ensure the presence of someone who holds a valid food handler’s certificate and another for not having a test substance for ensuring utensils are properly sterilized.

The sweet shop, which is rated 4.5 out of five on the website TripAdvisor, is one of several food kiosks housed inside the Queen Live Fresh Food Market on Queen Street West.

Only a government type could write ‘agents of transformation’ Restaurant inspections in Brazil

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the profile of foodservices’ in Curitiba, in southern Brazil and the results of health inspections performed at these establishments, with the goal of contributing to improvements in sanitary inspection processes and to the sanitary conditions in foodservices.

The study was based on data from sanitary inspections conducted at foodservice establishments from January 2005 to July 2015 found in the Municipal Sanitary Inspection and Environmental Information System.

Most of the establishments inspected were restaurants and similar establishments: snack bars, cafes; as well as grocery store, supermarkets and hypermarkets, and most irregularities were found in these sectors.

Health inspections in the city are carried out in emergency criteria, and most performed at the request of foodservices that are quest a license or because of a customer complaint. Inspections led to more educational than punitive measures. Even 10 years after passage of a national law governing food handling procedures, when 70% of the foodservices presented improper sanitary conditions. The main irregularities found were related to work procedures and processes, sanitary conditions, and physical structure. These result reinforces the importance that legislators and inspection teams reevaluate their goals, strategies and work processes to prioritize food safety.

Practical applications:

This study is important because it offers a diagnosis and a discussion of foodservices and evaluates actions of Sanitary Inspection Agency, to assist in the development of tools and strategies to strengthen the work of sanitary inspectors so that they can be recognized as agents of transformation in public health.

A profile of foodservices in Curitiba and a critical analysis of the results of sanitary inspections at these establishments

Journal of Food Safety

Patricia Vitorio Olmedo, Lize Stangarlin-Fiori, et al.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jfs.12377/full

‘I’m kind of tired after 28 years, here’s my resignation’ Michigan food supervisor forced to resign

I get it.

Burdened with never-ending bureaucracy, who wouldn’t resign.

I did (KState said I resigned, but really, they fired my ass).

And followed a girl to Brisbane.

But the only thing wrong about my resignation was I never got any severance from Kansas State University, and still cringe every time I hear about the parachutes — golden or not — bureaucrats get upon departure.

I was dumb about that.

I was also hopelessly naive about my belief that universities were places of higher learning and that effort and achievement would be honored.

Nope

Cody Combs of WWMT reports a former employee of a West Michigan county health department once in charge of overseeing restaurant inspections is now coming under criticism after the I-Team learned the employee was forced to resign.

This comes as the Newschannel 3 I-Team uncovers how some say the restaurant inspector neglected to keep up with inspections, potentially putting the safety of many in and around West Michigan at risk.

The I-Team started asking questions about the health inspections after portions of a Van Buren/Cass District Health Department document were anonymously sent to Newschannel 3.

“Inspect the 40 restaurants which have not been inspected since 2015,” reads the document.

That rate of inspections falls far below state regulations, according to staffers at several West Michigan county health departments.

The I-Team then pored over Van Buren/Cass Health Department meeting minutes, and found a brief mention during a meeting in March of a resignation from a worker named Cary Hindley, now the former food service supervisor.

Over at the Van Buren/Cass Health Department, we asked Director Jeff Elliott about the inspections or lack thereof, and Elliott explained Hindley’s departure.

“He said, you know what Jeff, all the regulations we have to follow and everything, he said, I’m kind of tired after 28 years, here’s my resignation,” Elliott said.

But Elliott disagreed with the internal document saying 40 restaurants were last inspected in 2015.

“I don’t think that’s gospel,” he said.

Elliott says the files may need to be located.

Other staffers, speaking on the condition of anonymity, say finding the documents, if they exist, may prove impossible.

At Wednesday’s Board of Health meeting, more concerns about the restaurant inspection discrepancies were voiced from board members, as well as other county health officials.

 

 

 

It was raw egg based Hollandaise sauce: Marquette County in Michigan frontrunner for 2017 least informative press release

Raw egg-based dished – the purvey of every food porn chef – are not just a problem in Australia.

America too.

Marquette County in Michigan has recently experienced a small Salmonella outbreak among residents.

But that’s all that is being reported.

Coral Beach of Food Safety News called Patrick L. Jacuzzo, Marquette County director of environmental health, who described the outbreak as “restaurant associated” and said the assumption as of Friday afternoon was that raw, unpasteurized eggs served in Hollandaise sauce with eggs Benedict were the source.

So far, 8 people had been sickened.

A table of raw egg-based outbreaks in Australia  is available at:

http://barfblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/raw-egg-related-outbreaks-australia-5-1-17.xlsx

Toddler showed ‘butthole’ during meal: Tennessee vegan

Dave Urbanski of The Blaze reports a customer named Chelsea Bartley wrote in 2-star review last week that she had a decidedly unappetizing experience at Imagine Vegan Cafe in Memphis, Tennessee — specifically that a “bare butt naked baby” with dirty feet “was running around, stood up on a table … and bent over to show me [her] butthole” during her meal.

That didn’t sit well with the cafe’s owner, who happens to be the mother of the 22-month-old girl in question. But not for the reason some might expect.

Kristie Jeffrey hopped on Imagine Vegan Cafe’s Facebook page, called out the customer by name and sent a warning to any other detractors.

“I’m about to start calling out names and pictures of people who leave us bad reviews, especially when it deals with our children,” Jeffrey wrote. “You will no longer be allowed to come and dine at Imagine. We do not need or want your business. … This is going to be fun!!!! You’ve throughly [sic] irritated mama bear!!!!!!!!!!!! We’re starting with Chelsea Bartley.”

Jeffrey added: “For anyone who reads this and instantly is scared this might affect our business, I cannot begin to tell you how much we do not care. Haters are not welcome at Imagine!!!!”

The post generated thousands of reactions, WMC-TV reported — but the station added that a few hours after its story ran about the dust-up, the post was deleted.

As of Friday afternoon, the cafe’s Facebook page appears to be down as well.

But Jeffrey did speak on camera to the station and didn’t back down from her position, noting that Imagine Vegan Cafe “has been a very family-oriented restaurant from day one. We’ve had crayons, kid menus, toys.”

And apparently poop.

In addition she told the station her four children are often in the restaurant during business hours. Jeffrey told WMC that while her daughter didn’t have a diaper on at the time of the incident noted in the 2-star review, she believes much of it is exaggerated.

“It was summer and it’s hot,” Jeffrey told the station about her daughter. “She does what a baby does, and she ripped it and she ran.”

Here’s the full text of Bartley’s review:

On the real, I eat here all the time. I still probably will bc I like to go out and there are few options available to me BUT y’all listen During my visit, a bare butt naked baby was running around, stood up on a table with its black theyre so dirty feet, and bent over to show me it’s butthole. I wish I was exaggerating. This is like while I’m eating, and it’s the owners kids? An older kid came over and started like yodeling and staring at me during my meal. I was SO uncomfortable. Like I get it’s a family establishment and kids do weird things but naked baby was running around for like 15 minutes while all the workers started are just standing to the side talking and laughing over it.

And for my food, I can heat up a tofurky sausage just as well and in under half the time.

Jeffrey told WMC it would have been better if Bartley made her complaints known in person so it could have been handled, but the vegan cafe owner isn’t sorry about what the establishment stands for.

“I would actually rather not have their business, because it states it very clearly on our menus — on our website — this is what we are about,” she told the station. “If you can’t do vegan, then don’t come here. If you can’t do children, don’t come here.”

And if you can’t do basic microbiology and sanitation, expet customers to stay away.

Tennessee is a special place. And I’m still a bad bluegrass banjo player.

Corned beef and pastrami with poop: New York deli flooded with ‘fecal matter’ due to bad pipes, suit says

Maya Rajamani of DNA Info reports the basement of the Stage Door Deli & Restaurant was deluged with “sewage and fecal matter” after the building’s owner failed to inspect and maintain the eatery’s pipes, a new lawsuit charges.

The restaurant at 360 Ninth Ave., between West 30th and 31st streets, was no longer able to use its basement after the pipes connecting to the city’s main utility lines broke on July 30, 2016, the suit filed against the landlord Thursday in Manhattan Supreme Court claims.

Building owner 30th Street and 9th Avenue Enterprises LLC was supposed to inspect and maintain the pipes but failed to do so, the suit notes.

The diner, known for the corned beef and pastrami sandwiches it has served for the past 17 years, moved into the Ninth Avenue space after a rent hike forced it out of its longtime home across from Penn Station in 2015.

When the pipes broke last year, “sewage and fecal matter” seeped into the basement, “causing both substantial health concerns and damage to food products, food supplies and food preparation areas,” the complaint says.