slides: 25 Providence Restaurants with Highest Number of Health Violations
Monday, September 02, 2013
See slideshow of Providence restaurants with the most violations found during the past year BELOW.
Full-service restaurants comprise just one of over 30 categories of establishments the Department of Health inspects, which includes schools, hospitals, assisted living facilities, colleges, pharmacies, and liquor stores, among others.
Over the past year, the Department responded to 58 food complaints, and 69 foodborne illness complaints in total, according to Dara Chadwick in the Office of Health Promotion, who told GoLocal that the Department had recently bolstered its ranks of health inspectors.
"There are currently 13 inspectors that are independently workout out in the field, and 5 others are in training," said Chadwick. The number is up from 9 inspectors in 2011, which GoLocal reported in November of that year.
"In an average week, there are approximately 145 total inspections," continued Chadwick. "In addition to this, the inspectors may do temporary events."
Range of Violations Recorded -- and Restaurants Respond
The violations can range from minor observations to more serious transgressions, including cross contamination, lack of proper food storage, employees not wearing gloves when handling ready-to-eat food, hand washing, or sick employees at work.
Food establishments must employ at least one full-time, on-site, food safety manager if potentially hazardous foods are prepared. The Department of Health lists on is website the available "Approved Food Safety Manager Training Programs."
For a number of restaurant owners and managers that spoke with GoLocal, the inspections are considered both fair -- and helpful.
"When the inspector came, she was fantastic," said Lucia Chacon of Ristorante Lucia on Atwells Avenue. "She was very helpful, explaining what needed to be done, which we took care of. It was a very good thing."
Janet Russell with McBride's in Wayland Square said that for them, the inspection was fairly perfunctory, and was addressed in short order.
"We corrected everything that they found, nothing was major from a food safety standpoint," said Russell. "I got the [food] storage covers they asked for, changed where certain foods were located in the refrigerator, and addressed the pocketbook issue," referring to the observation that employees had personal belongings in the kitchen.
For a number of new establishments, the inspection was expected.
"The inspection was conducted a few weeks after the restaurant opened. Since that time Mile and a Quarter has changed management and is committed to the highest standards," said Andrea Grenga Diciccio at the restaurant. "We fully respect the inspectors previous findings and have corrected any issues."
One chef and owner, who asked to remain anonymous, was supportive of the efforts being done by the Department of Health to ensure safety.
"I know that some chefs might get adversarial, but I've always worked well with inspectors and have found them to be helpful," he said. "It's not an enviable job, but it's a necessary one. Sometimes some of the issues with temperature, such as things cooling down for storage, might be a result of catching us in the middle of production. Most restaurants will correct anything pointed out on the spot."
Public Data Available Online
The Rhode Island Department of Helath Office of Food Protection Inspection Report Access Page contains a searchable database of all inspected establishments in the state -- and also allows people to sign-up for e-mail alerts "when your favorite restaurant is inspected."
The comparison listed below is for restaurants inspected in Providence-area zip codes between July 15, 2012 and July 15, 2013; establishments not looked at during this time are not reflected.
Nearly half of the restaurants inspected in the city over the past year had less than ten violations reported during a single inspection. Those with higher levels of violations were often inspected again later in the year, and for most of those restaurants, the number of violations found the second time decreased significantly.
"This program is intended to help protect the safety of all Rhode Islanders," said the Department of Health's Chadwick.
Hope Street Pizza
Violations: 31 (see here)
772 Hope St, Providence
Examples of violations from April 9, 2013:
"Physical facilities installed, maintained & clean" -- the entire Kitchen and prep area including all refrigeration units (inside and out) has an accumulation of soil residue and food debris.
"Approved thawing methods" -- calamari was observed thawing (still frozen) on the counter.
"Hands cleaned and properly washed" - the dishwasher failed to wash his hands between loading soiled and unloading clean dishes from the dishwasher.
Violations: 30 (see here)
268 Thayer St., Providence
Examples of violations from December 3, 2012:
"Certified manager as required; compliance with Code or correct responses" -- the person in charge did not assure compliance with critical code requirements.
"Food in good condition, safe and unadulterated" -- moths observed in flour, corn meal, rice, and whole wheat flour in basement.
A subsequent visit on January 30, 2013 saw a reduction to 13 violations.
Violations: 29 (see here)
186 Wayland Ave., Providence
Example of violations from December 17, 2012:
"Proper date marking & disposition" -- several prepared meats, pate's, sauces, etc.), located in the refrigerator, were not marked with the date of preparation. Ready-to-eat potentially hazardous food , prepared in the establishment and held for more than 24 hours, must be marked with the date of preparation.
A subsequent visit on January 23, 2013 saw a reduction to 8 violations.
Violations: 28 (see here)
2 Pine St., Providence
Example of violations from March 6, 2013:
"Food & non-food contact surfaces cleanable, properly designed, constructed & used" -- tomato sauce stored in a 5 gal orange home depot bucket. this is not a food grade container-dispose. Correct immediately.
A subsequent visit on April 11, 2013 saw a reduction to 9 violations.
Oki Japanese Steakhouse
Violations: 28 (see here)
1270 Mineral Spring Ave, North Providence
Example of violations from September 5, 2012:
"Toxic substances properly identified, stored & used" -- chlorine was stored with food, equipment, utensils or single service items. Chemicals must be stored to prevent the contamination of clean equipment, utensils linens and/or single service by spacing or petitioning and locating them in an area that is not above food, equipment utensils, linens and single service articles.
A subsequent visit on March 13, 2013 saw a reduction to 5 violations.
Violations: 25 (see here)
519 Hartford Ave., Providence
Example of violations from February 4, 2013:
"Food separated & protected" -- several raw animal foods were stored above ready-to-eat foods in the walk-in refrigerator such as eggs above vegetables. Raw animal foods must be separated from raw ready-to-eat food such as vegetables during storage.
Violations: 22 (see here)
800 Allens Ave., Providence
Example of violations from October 25, 2012:
"Proper hot holding temperatures" -- cooked chicken, beans, rice was held at ( 111-115F ) degrees. Potentially hazardous food must be maintained at 135 degrees F or above except during preparation, cooking or cooling. Had chef reheat to 165F.
Cactus Grille is now closed.
Fire + Ice
Violations: 20 (see here)
48 Providence Place, Providence
Examples of violations from February 11, 2013:
"Physical facilities installed, maintained & clean" -- the following items and areas observed dirty with dust, dirt, or food debris: 1. vent above dish machine 2.floor drains bar and under salad bars 3.Floors/walls in storage area, and behind ice machines
A subsequent visit on March 22, 2013 saw a reduction to 5 violations.
Chipotle Mexican Grille
Violations: 15 (see here)
235 Thayer St., Providence
Example of violations from April 2, 2013:
"No bare hand contact with ready to eat (RTE) foods" -- an employee was observed touching ready to eat food (nacho chips) with bare hands and eating them. Food employess must not touch exposed, ready-to-eat food with their bare hands and shall use suitable utensils such as deli tissue, spatulas, single use gloves or dispensing equipment. Disposed.
Violations: 15 (see here)
2005 Broad St., Cranston
Example of violations from March 14, 2013:
"Toxic substances properly identified, stored & used" -- sanitizer, windex, etc., was stored with food, equipment, utensils or single service items. Chemicals must be stored to prevent the contamination of clean equipment, utensils linens and/or single service by spacing or petitioning and locating them in an area that is not above food, equipment utensils, linens and single service articles.
Red House Restaurant
2168 Broad St., Providence
134 Atwells Ave., Providence
A subsequent visit on February 4, 2013 saw a reduction to seven violations.
22 Winter Street, Providence
634 Hartford Ave., Providence
A subsequent visit on January 7, 2013 saw a reduction in violations to 9.
Tinas Italian Kitchen
1825 Mineral Spring Ave., North Providence
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