Food for Thought Report 7.1 - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/1/04

Food for Thought Report 7.1

Health inspectors performed 29 health inspections inside Lubbock Restaurants this week. They found no top performers but plenty of low performers. Five restaurants didn't make the grade. Let's look at their violations in this week's edition of NewsChannel 11's Food for Thought.

Food for Thought 7.1
Here is a complete list of the restaurants and their violations for the week ending on 7/1/04.

Alex's Drive In at 2802 Avenue Q is our first Food for Thought low performer this week. Alex's had five critical violations at the time of their last inspection.

  • Weiners were being held at 51 degrees. Cold foods must be stored at 45 degrees or cooler.
  • The inspector observed employees changing tasks without washing their hands.
  • There was no handwashing station in the kitchen.
  • Inspectors could not find soap or sanitary towels.
  • Thermometers were not accurate.

Two of Alex's violations were corrected on sight. A manager tells NewsChannel 11 the rest of the violations are in the process of being corrected.

Our next low performer is one of the oldest restaurants in Lubbock and a fixture downtown. Gardski's at 2009 Broadway also had five critical violations.

  • Cooked potatoes and vegetables were found at a temperature below the required 140 degrees.
  • Personal drinks were found in the kitchen food prep areas and a handwashing sink was being used to dump a cream product.
  • A spoiled sweet potato was stored in a box with other potatoes.
  • The customer handwashing sink was out of soap.
  • The inspector also found a knife missing a metal tip, a knife with a broken handle, a soiled silverware container, chipped plates, moldy soda machine nozzles and a soiled ice scoop.

All critical violations were corrected on sight. Gardski's manager tells us the restaurant is the process of re-modeling, they've been a top performer before and plan to be back on top after their next inspection.

Little Panda at 1221 University also scored five critical violations, landing them as our third low performer.

  • Eggs were found on the counter at 78 degrees. Cold foods are required to be held at 45 or below.
  • Cooked rice and chicken were found at 110 degrees, 30 degrees below the required hot temperature of 140.
  • Raw chicken and beef were stored above and beside produce.
  • Potentially hazardous ready to eat food items such as egg rolls and fried chicken were not datemarked.
  • A knife was found missing pieces of metal, plus a produce chopper and a peeler were found soiled.

All critical violations were corrected on site. 

Now for our lowest low performers this week. Health inspectors cited On the Border at 6709 Slide road with six critical violations during their last inspection.

  • Shredded cheese was found at 55 degrees and avacado was found at room temperature.  Cold foods must be held at 45 or below.
  • Cooked potatoes and ribs were found at room temperature, while cooked chicken and steak were found held at 120 degrees. All hot foods must be held at 140 degrees or warmer.
  • Spoiled avacados and red onions were stored with produce to be used.
  • A soiled wiping cloth was stored on a cutting board.
  • A bottle containing glass cleaner was found in the bar area stored near liquor.
  • A can opener, food containers and kitchen utensils were found soiled.

All critical violations were corrected on site.

Our next low performer has been a repeat top perfromer in the past, but this time around the elite Lubbock Club had a whopping eight critical violations.

  • Heavy cream was found on a counter top at 70 degrees, cold foods must be held at 45 degrees or below.
  • Cooked potatoes were found at 115 degrees, a baked potato at 110 degrees and chicken at 123 degrees. Hot foods must be held at 140 degrees or higher. Stuart Johnson, the Lubbock Club's General Manager, says, "We pulled the buffet back here to the kitchen on it's way to be processed... to be discarded. The health inspector cut in at 3 o'clock and tested the temperatures on those foods and naturally found they weren't at serving temperature."
  • Employees were also eating in the kitchen area while preparing food, personal drinks were found in the kitchen, and the inspector witnessed an employee dipping his finger into sauces and tasting them in order to identify them. Johnson says, "He was extremely nervous and when the health inspector said 'What is that?', he was very nervous and instinctively put his finger in there and tasted the food, totally out of character."
  • Inspectors also found a spoiled onion in the onion bag.
  • Raw beef was stored above and next to ready to eat food items. Johnson says, "That's not normal and that certainly was an item that caught my eye and certainly have talked with the chef about that.
  • Various ready to eat, potentially hazardous food items, such as white rice, yellow rice and sliced meats were not datemarked."
  • Bleach was found on the food prep table beside ice for consumption.
  • Soiled plates were stored with clean plates, plus a soiled can opener and broken spatula were found.

All critical violations were corrected on site. Johnson says their latest inspection was certainly not the norm.  He says, "We have a very clean operation. It's the finest operation in my opinion in the city of Lubbock.

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