Inspectors fail 16 food establishments from June to September

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Darrell Hoemann/CU-CitizenAccess.org

Bacaro at 113 N. Walnut St. in Champaign failed its routine health inspection on September 15.

A store selling meat that wasn’t inspected by the USDA.

Molded fruit about to be served in a bar.

A sewage back-up into a restaurant.

These were among the worst violations that led to restaurants failing inspections in Champaign County over the past four months.

Altogether, from June 1 to September 30, 16 food establishments were closed or failed inspections for health code violations, according to a review of inspection records from the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District.

Four of the 16 establishments were temporarily closed, including the Baymont Inn & Suites in Champaign, Best of Africa’s Food Store in Urbana, Domino’s Pizza in Champaign and McDonald’s at 2909 West Kirby Avenue in Champaign.

Darrell Hoemann/CU-CitizenAccess.org

The Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity at 211 E. Daniel Street was the first fraternity or sorority to fail its health inspection.

The Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity at the University of Illinois also failed its routine inspection, becoming the first fraternity or sorority to fail an inspection since the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District started inspecting these facilities earlier this year.

So far, 17 other fraternities and sororities have been inspected and passed.

A food establishment fails if it receives an adjusted score of 35 or less on a 100-point scale. It is possible for a restaurant to receive a score of less than zero. Scores are adjusted for repeat and critical violations.

The fraternity house failed its routine inspection on September 28 with an adjusted score of 33 and eight critical violations.

The violations included the food preparation area not being sanitized, salsa being placed in the salad bar area in the morning, raw egg dripping into raw hamburger meat in the freezer and improper storage temperatures of food.

Jim Roberts, director of environmental health for the health department, said that fraternities and sororities are split into two types of establishments:

  • Category one establishments that are more complex and include serving food that is cooled and heated and not necessarily served right away
  • Category two establishments must serve food within 12 hours of cooking it.

Category one establishments must be inspected multiple times a year, while category two are only inspected once.

Local health officials inspect food service facilities for compliance across nearly four dozen health and safety items – including critical violations and risk factors.

A restaurant is automatically closed if its adjusted score falls below zero or if it has critical violations that pose an immediate health threat to public safety. Restaurants can also be closed if they do not pay their annual permit fee. Establishments can stay open with scores between zero and 35, but they must be re-inspected within 30 days.

Best of Africa’s Food Store in Urbana was closed on August 23 after it failed a routine inspection with an adjusted score of -26 and 11 critical violations.

Darrell Hoemann/CU-CitizenAccess.org

Best of Africa’s Food Store in Urbana was temporarily closed by health inspectors in August.

The violations included meats not having “a traceable mark of USDA inspection,” cooked and cooled fish not being labeled with a date, no hot or cold water at the hand sink, fruit flies and house flies throughout the facility, and the sink being removed.

On August 28, the store passed its re-inspection with an adjusted score of 83 and was allowed to reopen.

The health department shut down Domino’s Pizza on Green Street in Champaign at 4 p.m. on July 18, after finding that sewage had backed up into the facility. The day before, the restaurant had passed its routine inspection with an adjusted score of 48 but had to be re-inspected because its rear hand sink was not in operation. In the follow-up visit, inspectors found the backup.

On July 19, the restaurant’s health permit was reinstated after the problem was fixed.

McDonald’s, at 2909 West Kirby Avenue in Champaign, was shut down on September 26 after the restaurant had failed its routine inspection with an adjusted score of -10 and nine critical violations.

The violations included houseflies “too numerous to count,” employees wiping down trays with disinfectant solution instead of sanitizing solution, food being stored at improper temperatures and employees wiping down countertops and food preparation areas with water instead of cleaning solution.

On September 27, the restaurant passed its re-inspection with an adjusted score of 91. It was allowed to reopen at 2:15 p.m.

 

 

Restaurants that were temporarily closed include:  

Baymont Inn & Suites, 302 W. Anthony Dr., Champaign

The health department suspended the hotel’s food permit on July 7 due to “the lack of necessary equipment and the addition of an unapproved kitchen.” Before it was shut down, the hotel failed its routine inspection with an adjusted score of 17.

On August 24, the facility was allowed to resume food service operations after a construction survey was completed.

The hotel passed a re-inspection on September 11 with an adjusted score of 64.

Jim Roberts, director of environmental health for the health department, said that the hotel was allowed to continue to serve continental breakfast when its permit was suspended because it does not require a health permit.

Best of Africa’s Food Store, 208 W. Griggs Street, Urbana

The health department shut down the store on August 23 after it failed a routine inspection with an adjusted score of -26 and 11 critical violations. The violations included meats not having “a traceable mark of USDA inspection,” cooked and cooled fish not being labeled with a date, no hot or cold water at the hand sink, fruit flies and house flies throughout the facility, and the sink being removed.

On August 28, the store passed its re-inspection with an adjusted score of 83 and was allowed to reopen.

Domino’s Pizza No. 2921, 102 E. Green Street, Champaign

The health department shut down the restaurant at 4 p.m. on July 18, after finding that sewage had backed up into the facility. The day before, the restaurant had passed its routine inspection with an adjusted score of 48 but had to be reinspected because its rear hand sink was not in operation. In the follow-up visit, inspectors found the backup.

On July 19, the restaurant’s health permit was reinstated at 9:30 a.m. after the problem was fixed.

McDonald’s, 2909 W. Kirby Avenue, Champaign

The health district shut down the fast food restaurant at 4:36 p.m. on September 26 after the restaurant had failed its routine inspection with an adjusted score of -10 and nine critical violations. The violations included houseflies “too numerous to count,” employees wiping down trays with disinfectant solution instead of sanitizing solution, food being stored at improper temperatures and employees wiping down countertops and food preparation areas with water instead of cleaning solution.

On September 27, the restaurant passed its re-inspection with an adjusted score of 91. It was allowed to reopen at 2:15 p.m.

 

Restaurants that failed inspections include: 

Bacaro, 113 N. Walnut St., Champaign

The restaurant failed its routine inspection on September 15 with an adjusted score of 13 and six critical violations. The violations included employee food being stored alongside food for service, molded tomatoes, mushrooms and other vegetables, food being held beyond seven-day use and sinks not having proper sanitization.

The restaurant passed its re-inspection on October 11 with an adjusted score of 66 and one critical violation.

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

The restaurant failed its routine inspection on July 26 with an adjusted score of 4 and eight critical violations. The violations included a live cockroach in the kitchen, employees not washing hands when changing tasks, improper storage temperature of food and a lack of necessary refrigeration and hot holding equipment.

The restaurant passed its re-inspection on August 14 with an adjusted score of 70 and zero critical violations.

El Toro Bravo, 2561 W. Springfield Ave., Champaign

The Mexican restaurant failed its routine inspection on September 21 with an adjusted score of 32 and six critical violations. The violations included heavily molded fruit in the bar, an employee washing hands without soap and food being stored at improper temperatures.

The restaurant passed its re-inspection on October 2 with an adjusted score of 96 and zero critical violations.

El Toro of Rantoul, 1668 E. Grove Ave., Rantoul

The Mexican restaurant failed its routine inspection on June 13 with an adjusted score of 31 and six critical violations. The violations included salsa being left out for 50 minutes, an employee washing dishes without sanitizing them, the back door not closing and the sink being blocked.

The restaurant passed its re-inspection on July 10 with an adjusted score of 64 and one critical violation.

Fazoli’s No. 1796, 2029 N. Prospect Ave., Champaign

The restaurant failed its routine inspection on June 13 with an adjusted score of 33 and three critical violations. The violations included an employee drink being stored in a food preparation area, the hand sink being blocked by a garbage can and food being stored at improper temperatures.

The restaurant passed its re-inspection on July 13 with an adjusted score of 59 and one critical violation.

Jupiter’s at the Crossing, 2511 Village Green Pl., Champaign

The restaurant failed its routine inspection on August 2 with an adjusted score of 5 and seven critical violations. The violations included chemicals being stored with dishes, drain flies in the kitchen, food being stored at improper temperatures and an employee beverage being stored above the fryers.

The restaurant passed its re-inspection on September 5 with an adjusted score of 75 and one critical violation.

Lao Sze Chuan Chinese Restaurant & Bar, 608 E. University Ave., Champaign

The restaurant failed its routine inspection on September 13 with an adjusted score of 31 and seven critical violations, including sauces that were supposed to be refrigerated being stored at room temperature, employee drinks being left above food preparation areas, sinks being blocked and the soap being too concentrated.

Mandarin Wok, 403 ½ E. Green St., Champaign

The Chinese restaurant failed its routine inspection on September 27 with an adjusted score of 29 and six critical violations. The violations included employees not washing hands between tasks, green onions being stored on the ground, employee food and drink being stored in food preparation areas and employee medications being stored above food.

The restaurant passed its re-inspection on October 4 with an adjusted score of 98 and zero critical violations.

Rich’s Family Restaurant, 305 W. Ellen St., Ogden

The restaurant failed its routine inspection on July 6 with an adjusted score of 11 and six critical violations, including food being held beyond its seven-day use period, food being stored at improper temperatures, a lack of cold water at the kitchen sink and soap being too concentrated.

The restaurant passed its re-inspection on August 1 with an adjusted score of 36 and three critical violations.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity, 211 E. Daniel St., Champaign

The fraternity house failed its routine inspection on September 28 with an adjusted score of 33 and eight critical violations. The violations included the food preparation area not being sanitized, salsa being placed in the salad bar area in the morning, raw egg shells dripping into raw hamburger meat in the freezer and improper storage temperatures of food.

As of October 25, the fraternity had not been re-inspected.

Strawberry Field Store, 306 W. Springfield Ave., Urbana

The grocery store failed its routine inspection on July 26 with an adjusted score of 23 and six critical violations. The violations included the dish washer not being hot enough, insect spray being stored next to cleaning chemicals, food being held at improper temperatures and food being labeled for 10-day use, instead of 7-day use.

The store passed its re-inspection on August 22 with an adjusted score of 84 and zero critical violations.

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

The Mexican restaurant failed its routine inspection on August 1 with an adjusted score of 21 and seven critical violations. The violations included employees changing gloves between tasks without washing hands, a door being left open to the outside, an employee beverage being stored next to customer food and the dishwasher did not have any chlorine in it.

The restaurant passed its re-inspection on August 14 with an adjusted score of 69 and two critical violations.