Inspections reveal the slime at Oshkosh restaurants

There’s a slime epidemic in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. It builds up on nozzles of soda guns. It’s on the cups that hold soda guns. It’s on ice machines and ice bins. And chances are it’s been found in your favorite tavern or restaurant.

The Oshkosh Northwestern reports that inspectors for the Oshkosh Health Department found the gooey slime that when soda, juice and other beverages builds up over time in more than 10 percent of their 424 inspections of restaurants, taverns, convenience stores and kitchens between January 2009 and April 2010.

In total, there were 44 incidents of gunk build-up during that time, making it the most cited critical violation discovered by Oshkosh Health Department Sanitarians Sandy Knutson and Ann Boyce in their annual restaurant inspections.

"For the most part, the bacteria in that slime is non-pathenogenic," Knutson said. "It probably won’t make you sick, but it will gross you out. But it’s not as big a health hazard as drains that are not open-sited."

"Sewage on the other hand …," Boyce started.
"… Has a high chance of making you ill," Knutson finished.

In 43 instances, ice bin and ice machine drains were not designed to prevent sewage from backing up into the equipment.