Health inspection reports reveal critical violations at some Kansas City establishments participating in one of the biggest weeks in the restaurant world.
Several dozen restaurants are participating in Restaurant Week beginning Friday.
KCTV5 News dug through Kansas City Health Department online inspection reports and found that most of the restaurants from downtown to the Country Club Plaza that are participating in the event appeared to have at least two critical violations of the food safety code.
Food inspectors hand out two types of violations – non-critical and critical. If an inspector catches a critical violation which includes problems with food, cleanliness or maintenance, then the restaurant must take action.
The city does not grade restaurants on a scale, they just report the number of violations discovered at a dining establishment.
“Sometimes very good establishments have a bad inspection,” health department spokesman Jeff Hershberger said.
The department has 18 food inspectors that conduct unannounced visits at 3,400 places that have food permits all over the city. Restaurants could see upwards of five of those visits per year.
“These inspections for starters are a snapshot in time,” Hershberger said. “They are what was going on in that establishment on that day.”
The Foundry at 40th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue in Westport had the fewest number of critical violations – at just two – based on city inspection reports. None of the violations had anything to do with food.
“People try as hard as they can to keep it clean,” former food services worker Nate Sydney said.
Sydney said there are just a few things on an inspection report that would keep him away.
“I guess if a dead animal showed up, I think that would be terrible,” he said. “Mold, I think that’s very, very bad. If mold showed up, that would be a no go for me.”
The health department offers some advice when it comes to looking at restaurant inspections.
“Look at span of reports, don’t just look at one report and say, ‘oh that’s gross,'” Hershberger said.