Restaurants Exposed: Freezer stacking leads to violation

July 28, 2017 07:42 PM

Do you think about where you stack food in your freezer? Most of us don't. There certainly appears to be little risk of cross contamination when frozen food is bagged or boxed. That's what one restaurant owner thought too, but inspectors slapped it with a critical violation for his fish in the freezer.

Lento is the Italian word for slow. The restaurant, in Rochester's Village Gate Square, embraces the slow food movement, an alternative to fast food that prides itself on getting as much food as possible from local, seasonal, and sustainable sources.

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But Monroe County health inspectors were not slow to give the restaurant two critical violations, one of which was for the risk of cross contamination of raw and cooked food.

The owner explains health inspectors were concerned that wrapped frozen salmon was stacked on top of bagged frozen bread. While the owner, Art Rogers, believes the risk of cross contamination was small, he fixed the potential problem by getting more freezers. Rogers told News10NBC, "We have three freezers now.  We have one specifically for fish in one freezer, meat in one, and bread and pastries in the third."

Health inspectors who visited Cinelli's Pizza Restorante in Greece also cited it with two critical violations - one of which was also the risk of cross contamination of raw and cooked food. Inspectors said the restaurant had a carton of eggs on the wrong shelf in the fridge. So workers moved the eggs to the bottom shelf which decreased the risk a broken egg contaminating cooked food. The owner, John Cinelli, told News10NBC, "[Getting a critical violation] is not good, but it makes you pay closer attention to details."

At D & D's Bar and Grill in Scottsville, the problem was food temperature. Health inspectors cited it with two critical violations. In one case food wasn't cold enough. In another it wasn't hot enough. The owner, Dave Hellaby, told News10NBC he threw away the food that wasn't cold enough. As for the sauce that wasn't hot enough, Hellaby said he "Put it on the stove and got it up to temp, and it was all good."

Food temperature was also the problem at The Distillery on South Winton in Henrietta. Inspectors cited it with three critical violations for food that wasn't cold enough. The owner says they fixed each problem on the spot. He told me News10NBC, "We've taken care of all these critical issues. We see the Monroe County Health Department as our partner."

At Ferrari's Pizza Bar on Chili Avenue in Rochester, health inspectors cited the owners with two critical violations for food that wasn't cold enough. But here the solutions weren't as simple. The general manager, Kelli Fitzsimmons, told News10NBC restaurant leaders have made a complete overhaul.

She said, "We have a new management team with a new kitchen manager who makes food safety a number one priority."

Here's Deanna's Do List.

1. Check the restaurants inspection record.

2. If you see a problem, report it.


Howard Thompson

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