WASHTENAW COUNTY, MI — The Washtenaw County Health Department inspected more than 200 restaurants and food service facilities in January, and seven had three or more serious violations.
Lefty’s Cheesesteak in Ypsilanti received five priority violations – the most serious violation most likely to lead to food-borne illness, per state law. Six other restaurants around the county received priority violations during routine inspections.
Inspectors visit restaurants twice per year, typically unannounced, according to the county. Issues deemed priority and priority foundation, a mid-level violation, must be corrected at the time of inspection or within 10 days.
If diners have a complaint about a restaurant or experienced suspected foodborne illness, they may call Environmental Health at 734-222-3800.
Below is a searchable table of January 2020 inspection results. You can search by restaurant name or city, or you can click the search button without selecting either restaurant name or city to get a list of all results. Each of the columns in the table is sortable by clicking on the column header.
Database by Scott Levin.
You can follow this link to search the Washtenaw County Public Health Department’s restaurant inspection reports to see specific details about the violations noted by the inspectors. A description of the different types of violations can be found at the end of this post.
Here are excerpts from the January 2020 restaurant inspection reports of the restaurants with the largest number of priority violations. Corrections were fixed during the routine inspection or by a noted follow-up inspection:
Lefty’s Cheesesteak, 505 S. Huron St., Ypsilanti, inspected Jan. 22:
- The restaurant was found using unapproved bleach in the dishwashing process and in wiping buckets. Restaurants must use bleach for sanitizing surfaces that contact food, but the bleach must be EPA registered.
- An inspector found raw beef stored above and next to ready-to-eat food. It was corrected by moving the patties to the bottom shelf, where meat should be stored.
- The restaurant’s mop sink faucet was moveable and could be left in the sink below the flood rim. Restaurants must have a faucet that is airgapped from the spout of the faucet from the rim of the mop sink at all times.
- An inspector found cleaning chemicals stored on a shelf next to and above single-use utensils in the storage area. Restaurants must keep chemicals away from food surfaces and serving tools. It was corrected by moving the cleaning products away from the utensils.
- An employee incorrectly washed utensils by placing dish soap and bleach in a container, used a scrubber dipped in the soap and bleach solution to clean a container and did not sanitize container. Health inspectors instructed management to teach employees the correct method: wash dishes with soap, rinse dishes with clean water, dip dishes in approved chlorine sanitizer and allow dishes to air dry.
One Bowl Restaurant, 1220 S. University Ave. Suite 101, Ann Arbor, inspected Jan. 16:
- Officials saw an employee holding cooked chicken in their bare hands. Food law requires employees to handle ready-to-eat food with a barrier such as gloves or tongs. Notes from the follow-up inspection on Jan. 30 show the violation was corrected.
- An inspector found a two-liter bottle of soda submerged in the ice machine. Ice used for cooling cannot be used for consumption. The violation was corrected by the follow-up inspection.
- Two five-gallon buckets of Pho soup were stored at the incorrect temperature. The restaurant discarded the soups during the inspection.
- The inspector noted raw chicken stored above cooked chicken in the walk-in cooler. They also saw raw chicken above raw beef and fish and in the drawer prep cooler. Raw food should be stored below ready-to-eat foods and raw chicken should be stored below raw fish and beef. The violation was corrected by the follow-up inspection.
Chinese Tonite Restaurant, 1127 S. Main St., Chelsea, inspected Jan. 17:
- An inspector found “entire contents” of the loading cooler several degrees above the required 41 degrees for about two and a half hours. The restaurant corrected this during the inspection by putting dry ice in the cooler to bring the temperature down while waiting for a repair person.
- An inspector saw the restaurant re-using or storing food in multiple metal cans. “Some cans were in poor condition.” Employees corrected the violation by “discarding the food in the bad cans and transferring the rest into food grade plastic containers,” according to the report.
- Health officials saw an employee use bare hands to put fried food into a bag. The restaurant corrected it by throwing out the food and instructing the employee to wash hands and use gloves after food is cooked.
Haab’s Restaurant, 18 W. Michigan Ave., Ypsilanti, inspected Jan. 17:
- The inspector saw several moldy lemons in the walk-in cooler in the basement. The inspector noted this violation was observed at a previous inspection and required the owners to submit a risk control plan to the health department. Restaurant officials threw out the lemons at the time of the inspection. Co-owner David Kabat said the spoiled produce was a small amount among hundreds of items of produce.
- Chemical sanitizer concentration used in the industrial dishwasher was 0 parts-per-million. Food law requires the concentration to be between 50 and 100 ppm, or according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Kabat said the dishwasher was fixed the day of the inspection.
- The inspector noticed the dishwasher “disposing of water” onto the floor, not into a drain. Kabat said the dishwasher was fixed the day of the inspection.
Red Brick Kitchen and Bar, 8093 Main St., Dexter, inspected Jan. 9:
- An inspector noticed several foods still in coolers past their expiration date, including pesto, ranch, cheeses, egg whites, prime rib and more. The restaurant threw out the food.
- A bucket and a six-inch deep pan of tomato basil soup was found several degrees warmer than the required temperature of ready-to-eat food in a cooler. The restaurant threw out the food.
- Several chemical-based sanitizers were found near foods in the kitchen. Toxic chemicals must be stored below and away from food and food-contact surfaces to minimize contamination risks. The restaurant moved the chemical cleaners to the appropriate areas.
Satchel’s BBQ, 3035 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor, inspected Jan. 22:
- An inspector saw an employee incorrectly washing dishes in a sink with sanitizing liquid, only dipping the dish in the sanitizer for about two seconds before placing it on the drying rack. Food inspectors say dishes must be completely submerged for 30 seconds. The employee corrected the violation by following the described method.
- The inspector believed the walk-in cooler “started to increase in temperature, but it is unclear as to how long the cooler has been starting to rise in temperature,” according to the violation. The owner serviced the cooler and added coolant by the follow-up inspection on Jan. 29.
- A self-serve container of cut lemons in the dining area did not have tongs nor a cover. Employees covered the lemons and set out tongs for customer use.
Taste Kitchen, 521 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor, inspected Jan. 7:
- An inspector found octopus stored up to nine degrees higher than the required cooling temperature for unprepared food in a container but determined the container was over-filled and causing the temperature issue. The employee unstacked the octopus.
- Ice wands, used in food cooling, were found laying on a shelf in a freezer without a cover to protect the food contact surfaces. Restaurants should protect anything that may touch food later to prevent contamination.
- The ice and espresso machines did not have airgaps and piping for the machines had fallen into a floor drain.
County health department officials inspect all food service establishments and report any violations online. There are three levels of violations, according to Michigan food regulations:
- Priority violations are the most serious. Correcting these eliminates or reduces a problem directly associated with foodborne illness. Examples include improper food temperatures and lack of hand washing.
- Priority Foundation violations are problems that can lead to a Priority violation. Correcting these problems may keep Priority violations from occurring. Examples include not having an appropriate food thermometer, not having sanitizer test strips, and not having soap or paper towel at a hand sink.
- Core violations are related to general sanitation and facility maintenance. Examples include dirty floors, missing ceiling tiles, and improper facility lighting.
Source: Thanks https://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/2020/02/moldy-lemons-ungloved-hands-among-washtenaw-county-restaurant-violations-for-january.html