July 10, 2013

From fuzzy mold to raw sewage – 11 area restaurants failed health inspections in April, May

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A draft version of a reinspection notice. Public health officials are drafting ordinances that would require food establishments to post a color-coded placard that indicates the results of each health inspection. Yellow means the food establishment failed its health inspection with an adjusted score below 36 and but can remain open pending a reinspection within 30 days.

Contributed/Champaign-Urbana Public Health District

A draft version of a reinspection notice. Public health officials are drafting ordinances that would require food establishments to post a color-coded placard that indicates the results of each health inspection. Yellow means the food establishment failed its health inspection with an adjusted score below 36 and but can remain open pending a reinspection within 30 days.

Eleven restaurants failed health inspections in April and May, with critical violations ranging from employees not washing hands to potentially hazardous foods out of safe temperature ranges.

One restaurant was temporarily closed and another voluntarily shut down following health inspections. Both were reopened within 24 hours.

Sol Azteca, 405 S. Century Blvd., Rantoul, was shut down April 29 after inspectors noted raw sewage discharging in the kitchen.

Inspectors also noted four other critical violations including potentially hazardous food that was at an unsafe temperature.  The restaurant was allowed to reopen the next day after the sewage problem was repaired.

On May 9, Wedge Tequila Bar & Grill voluntarily closed after scoring a 6 on its health inspection with nine critical violations including several potentially hazardous foods out of safe temperature ranges. Inspectors also condemned a broken walk-in cooler. The restaurant was allowed to reopen upon reinspection.

Restaurants fail if they score 35 or below. If they score below zero they are automatically closed down. Restaurants with a failing score upon reinspection are also closed down.

For the past five years, public health officials have worked on a plan to make health inspection results more public. In 2011, CU-CitizenAccess began posting failed health inspection reports.

In March, the county board of health directed Champaign-Urbana Public Health District officials to draft ordinances that would require food establishments and restaurants to post a color-coded placard corresponding to health inspection results.

Environmental Health Director Jim Roberts said draft ordinances are under review by attorneys and will be presented to both the county and district boards of health for discussion once their review is completed.

Open houses on the new proposed color-placard system were held in April and May, Roberts said.

Noted below are the score and number of critical violations of the restaurants and food establishments that failed health inspections between April 2013 and May 2013. Restaurants with adjusted scores 36 or above are considered passing. At four or five points, critical violations are scored higher because of the potential health impact they have on customers.

The score also depends on the amount of non-critical violations, which can range from one point to two.

The total amount of points are deducted from a score of 100, with additional points taken off for the number of critical violations as well as the number of repeat violations.

 

Bangkok Thai & Pho 911, 410 E. Green St., Champaign:

Inspected on May 23 with an adjusted score of 25 and five critical violations including several employees conducting multiple tasks without washing their hands and ready-to-eat, potentially hazardous foods not labeled with a seven-day date mark.

 

Biaggi’s Ristorante Italiano, 2235 E. Neil St., Champaign:

Inspected on April 8 with an adjusted score of 13 and seven critical violations including “severely molded” onions in a reach-in cooler under the salad maker line and several meats that were out of safe temperature range. The restaurant was reinspected on May 9 with an adjusted score of 39.

 

Bombay Indian Grill, 401 E. Green St., Champaign:

Inspected on April 17 with an adjusted score of 25 and five critical violations including cooked and cooled chicken and several potentially hazardous foods that were out of safe temperature range as well as employees who did not wash their hands while cleaning and handling food. The restaurant was reinspected on May 23 with an adjusted score of 59.

 

Eastland Suites, 1907 N. Cunningham Ave., Urbana:

Inspected on May 3 with an adjusted score of 24 and five critical violations including an employee who used bare hands to touch ready-to-eat food.

 

El Toro East, 221 E. Lincoln St., St. Joseph:

Inspected on April 10 with an adjusted score of 30 and seven critical violations including food that was out of a safe temperature range, such as chicken mixture used for tamales, and an antibiotic cream stored where raw chicken was being prepped. The restaurant was reinspected on May 15 with an adjusted score of 36.

 

Family Table Restaurant, 1724 E. Grove Ave., Rantoul:

Inspected on May 21 with an adjusted score of 34 and six critical violations including potentially hazardous foods out of safe temperature ranges such as sausage links and patties and cooked vegetables and chicken.

 

Hardee’s, 1703 S. Neil St., Champaign:

Inspected on May 20 with an adjusted score of 15 and six critical violations including several potentially hazardous foods out of safe temperature ranges and a walk-in cooler that was not cooling food. Inspectors condemned it for use.

 

Main St. Wingery II, 101 N. Lombard, Mahomet:

Inspected on May 14 with an adjusted score of 21 and five critical violations including the interior rim of the ice machine that was soiled with an “accumulation of fuzzy mold” and an open employee beverage found on the back prep counter in the bar.

 

Mas Amigos Restaurant, 1106 W. University Ave., Urbana:

Inspected on April 23 with an adjusted score of 34 and six critical violations including several potentially hazardous foods out of a safe temperature range and a large amount of ants that were found on walls behind the dish machine and crawling on the dish drainboard. The restaurant was reinspected on May 28 with an adjusted score of 36.

 

Sol Azteca, 405 S. Century Blvd., Rantoul:

Inspected on April 29 with an adjusted score of 28 and five critical violations including food that was found out of a safe temperature range. Inspectors observed raw sewage discharging onto the kitchen floor and closed down the restaurant. The restaurant was allowed to reopen the very next day after inspectors saw the problem was abated.  The restaurant was reinspected on May 31 with an adjusted score of 37.

 

Wedge Tequila Bar & Grill, 415 N. Neil St., Champaign:

Inspected on May 9 with an adjusted score of 6 and nine critical violations including several potentially hazardous foods out of safe temperature ranges in a walk-in cooler that inspectors condemned. The owners voluntarily closed the restaurant down. The restaurant was reinspected on May 10 with an adjusted score of 73 and allowed to reopen.

 

About this story:

For the past five years, Champaign Urbana Public Health District officials have discussed ways to best publicize restaurant inspections.

Health inspection reports of restaurants and food facilities are available by request from the health department. In June, the health department also began posting a monthly list of all inspected food facilities and the current status.

In 2011, CU-CitizenAccess.org began posting full inspection reports of all restaurants that failed routine health inspections since 2008.

As a service, we continue to post the full reports of failed health inspections as part of our searchable, interactive map.

On the health department’s new online report system restaurant health permits labeled “general compliance” have received a passing 36 percent or higher. Restaurant health permits labeled “re-inspection” received scores below 36. Restaurant health permits labeled “suspended” were automatically shut down for scores below 0. Restaurant health permits labeled “inactive” means that the restaurant owner voluntarily closed down the restaurant.