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Restaurants Exposed: Weekly health inspection reports

July 07, 2017 08:06 PM

You can do one thing tonight to make your kitchen safer: Buy a second cutting board.  

According to the USDA, a quarter of all chicken parts have salmonella. If you make a practice of always using one board for meat and poultry and a separate board for vegetables, you cut the risk of cross-contamination. That's just one thing we learned from the inspection reports in this week's segment of Restaurants Exposed.

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East Rochester's Northside Inn boasts traditional Italian cuisine in a casual atmosphere. Health inspectors recently cited it with two critical violations including the risk of cross-contamination of raw and cooked food.  The problem? The cutting boards. Inspectors were concerned that the plastic cutting boards had scars and grooves from use - making them difficult to clean and providing a perfect hiding place for bacteria.  The owner, Don Verni said the solution was simple. He bought new ones. 

 "All of our items have been corrected,” Verni said. “They (health inspectors) were happy.  She was pleased with what we've done."

Northside Inn also minimizes the risk of cross contamination by using two different-colored cutting boards - red for meats and green for vegetables.  

 "And you can relate to this on a personal level,” said Dr. Michael Mendoza, Monroe County Commissioner of the Department of Public Health. “If you're cutting raw chicken on a cutting board, there are germs that are coming from raw chicken that you do not want to expose to lettuce that you'll serve essentially raw."

Cross-contamination was also cited as a critical violation at The Peppermill Restaurant in Rochester.  It got another critical violation for food that wasn't cooled properly.  The owner, Chris Christanis, blamed both on equipment failures.  He repaired one and replaced the other.  

"We've been around 40 years, Christanis told News 10 NBC. “We cooperate fully with the inspectors.  Sometimes things take time to replace." 

Massimo Albano, the owner of Lemoncello Italian Restaurant and Catering in East Rochester, said a warm cooler was also the reason he was cited with two critical violations - both for food that wasn't cold enough. He explained the inspectors came after the restaurant had been closed a couple of days.

"One door (of the cooler) might have been left a little bit ajar, said Massimo. “We have multiple restaurants, and that was the only item.  Everything was corrected on the spot."

At Uno Pizzeria Grill and Catering on Hylan Drive in Henrietta, health inspectors found two critical violations for food that wasn't cold enough.  Managers told me no one was available to comment.

Bill Gray's on Jefferson Road in Henrietta was cited with two critical violations including food that wasn't hot enough.  The problem? The meat sauce.  And when health inspectors returned weeks later, inspectors again found meat sauce that wasn't hot enough. 

Bill Gray's Director of Food Safety, Rick Brewer, explained that in both cases health inspectors came about 10:45 a.m., right after the restaurant opened, and the meat sauce hadn't yet reached the required temperature.  But for health inspectors, food temperature is potentially a big concern.

 "Temperature really matters,” said Dr. Mendoza. “It's the predictive indicator of whether bacteria will or will not grow on food."

And those are the very issues Brewer said he addressed at a recent Bill Gray’s managers’ meeting.

"We discuss all of our violations and we reiterated to get the hot items on (the heating units) first," said Brewer.

That's critical because food temperature is key to food safety.

A viewer recently contacted News 10 NBC with the following question.  Pat asked, “I have a question regarding health standards for private clubs and lodges. Are they subject to the same regulations as public establishments when serving to the public during charitable or money raising events? Are they also subject to kitchen inspections if a private caterer rents the kitchen to use for these events?" 

The answers are yes, and yes.  Private clubs that serve food also must have health inspections; private caterers have to be licensed and inspected.

Now, we want our consumer investigations to empower you, the consumer. 

Here's Deanna's do list.

1. Check the restaurants inspection record. 

2. If you see a problem, report it. 

Credits

Deanna Dewberry

Copyright 2017 - WHEC-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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