Did you forget to clean something???

By Casey Saenz, EHS3

During a recent food service inspection, I was examining the ice machine (which is a routine part of an inspection) and happened to notice a small buildup of black mold on the machine’s interior panel.  From past experience, I know that if there is a small amount of mold where I can easily see it, then there’s a good chance that there will be a much bigger beast lurking further inside the ice machine.  To better assess my concerns, I used the camera on my cell phone to take a picture of the upper interior area where the ice drops.  Lo and behold….

Ice machine

This 4-point violation was marked under item number 4-2B (Food-contact surfaces: cleaned & sanitized) on the food service inspection form.

There have been gastrointestinal illness outbreaks from pathogens, such as Norovirus, that have been traced back to the consumption of contaminated ice.  People sometimes forget that ice is a food, just like the ones that are listed on a restaurant’s menu, that can become contaminated with disease causing microorganisms from a contaminated surface or someone’s unwashed hands.  This photo serves as a great reminder to always clean your food contact surfaces on a regular basis, especially the ones that are not very visible!

 

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Swept Away

Broom

A co-worker and I recently inspected a fast food facility, and we noticed that they had a problem with roaches in the kitchen (my co-worker quickly spotted one crawling along an electrical cord).  As we began to inspect other areas of the kitchen, we saw buckets full of grease and food debris along the coved base of the floor, but one thing that really stood out in this roach-saga was their broom and dustpan.  This dastardly “cleaning” duo could easily serve as a well stocked food court for many pests.

We immediately reminded the person in charge (PIC) about the importance of keeping non-food contact surfaces clean, especially as a means to help prevent a pest infestation.  This illustrates the importance of routinely cleaning non-food contact surfaces, and it shows how quickly things can get out of control when this task is overlooked.

Along with writing up a violation under Item# 18 for Pest and Animal Control, this violation was also marked under Item# 15C, for uncleanliness of non–food contact surfaces.  As the Rules and Regulations for Food Service states, these non-food contact surfaces must be cleaned at a sufficient frequency to prevent the accumulation of soil and debris.

– Contributed by Casey Saenz, EHS

Random Violations from the Field – Food Contact Surfaces and Holding Temperatures

The following are violations cited by inspectors in the field based on the Rules and Regulations for Food Service CHAPTER 290-5-14

 

EHFood DishwasherFood Contact Surfaces Cleaned and Sanitized

Contributed by: Kim Brown, EHS3

 

Food Service Inspection Item Number 4-2b

Code Provisions: .05(7)(a)1

Observation: Numerous plates, bowls, and utensils stored as clean observed with stuck-on food debris.

Compliance/Corrective Action (CA) Required: All food contact surfaces must be properly cleaned to sight and touch prior to being stored for use.

Corrected on sight during the inspection (COS):  Items were removed for cleaning.

 

 

Proper Cold Holding TemperaturesEHFood Crawfish

Contributed by: Casey Saenz

 

Food Service Inspection Item Number  6-1A

 Code Provisions: .04(6)(f)

Observation:  Time/Temperature Controlled for Safety (TCS) foods held above 41 ̊F in that crawfish was 48 ̊F, fish heads 52 ̊F, raw shrimp 48 ̊F while stored in the cook-line refrigerator.

Compliance/Corrective Action (CA) Required:  Always cold hold TCS foods at 41 ̊f and below.

Corrected on sight during the inspection (COS):  Food items were discarded since believed to have been out of temperature more than 4 hours .