The ladies who keep Westwind Elementary's kitchen in tip top shape should be proud. Their latest city health inspection earned them a perfect score. Kitchen Manager, Janie Caudillo, tells us she runs a tight ship. Each day she makes sure everyone knows their tasks for the day and when the kitchen staff has free time, what do they do? You guessed it, they clean. "I tell them we need to do this because not only does it reflect on them and me and my boss, but we need to have healthy food for the children."
|Food for Thought 4.22|
There's only more good news to report this week. No area restaurants had enough critical violations to earn the title of low performer. However there are two top performers. Our first is Branch Office Sports Grill located at 5023 34th Street. Raise your glasses for 'em, their inspection revealed no critical violations.
Sharing the spotlight is Saigon Cafe at 4515 50th Street. Inspector, Jennifer Sedia, praises the quaint taste of the orient for going above and beyond in cleanliness. She uses their top performing kitchen as an example and gave us a tour to remind us how every kitchen should be. "I would start looking for temperature on the cold hold bar. We take the temperature. The required temperature on a service line is 45 degrees."
Other cooling units are required to stay at 41 degrees and have a properly calibrated thermometer. It's a requirement because certain bacteria can grow above that temperature.
Likewise, certain hot foods also have temperature requirements. Jennifer says, "Chicken is supposed to be cooked at 165 degrees for 15 seconds and beef at 155 degrees for 50 seconds. Once they cook it at that temperature, they have to maintain it hot at 140 degrees or above."
Jennifer also looks to make sure ready to eat food items are stored above raw meats so nothing leaks onto those food items causing cross contamination. She also checks all surfaces to make sure everything is clean and sanitary. She explains, "Normally the first thing we find when we walk in is personal drinks on the prep table, which is not acceptable."
Jennifer says other common violations include: handwashing sinks that are blocked or without hot water, soap and paper towels. Cleaning agents that are not properly labeled and stored away from food. And food items that are not date marked. Jennifer says, "Everything is seven days. They have seven days from the day they prep it, if their cooling unit is holding at 45 degrees or below." After that, restaurants are supposed to throw it away and dispose of it.
There are many more details inspectors look for to keep you safe. Of course, they look for evidence of insects and rodents and they check drink nozzles to make sure they're clean. You can be sure we'll bring you what they find every week in our Food for Thought report.