Another Teachable Moment

By Parish Divinity, Environmental Health Specialist 3

The photo above is a good example of how not to store food contact equipment, utensils, and single service items. As you can see, this arrangement does not allow much room for cleaning the adjacent floors and walls. Additionally, storing items in this manner could provide harborage for a pest infestation (it can even help hide an infestation!).  This was a teachable moment during a change of ownership evaluation where I advised the restaurant owner to store their single use articles at least six inches off of the floor to prevent possible contamination and facilitate cleaning. 

During a food service inspection, this violation would be marked out of compliance on item number 14B – Utensils, equipment and linens: properly stored, dried, handled. If you have some challenged storage areas in your facility, now may be a good time to get them into compliance.

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Dry Storage Gone Bad!

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Toward the end of this facility’s last routine inspection, I realized that I had not yet seen their dry storage area. I asked the person-in-charge (PIC) to show me where it was located. When the PIC unlocked the closet, I was a little surprised (and also grateful) that nothing toppled onto my head.

This is a good example of how not to store food, equipment, utensils, and paper goods. As you can see from the picture, this arrangement does not allow much room for cleaning the floors and walls. This could also lead to a huge problem with roaches or rodents because there are plenty of places for them to hide and any evidence of their presence would be difficult to see. I quickly informed the PIC that this room was a public health concern and explained why it was critical that all of these items needed to be stored at least 6 inches above the floor.

This violation was marked under 14B: “Utensils, equipment and linens: properly stored, dried, handled” on their food service inspection.

Contributed by Casey Saenz, EHS3