Hear how restaurants end up on probation, and what it means
Several popular local restaurants, three hotels, three Subways, two KFCs, two church kitchens, including one that serves Meals on Wheels, and other Lexington food service establishments were placed on probation recently.
The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department inspectors added about 30 places in the most recent update, which includes those on probation from Dec. 21 through Feb. 6.
Beverly Higgins, co-owner of Magee’s Bakery, said she is working with employees on improvements after Magee’s scored a 67. After a reinspection, Magee’s scored 92, according to the health department.
“I’m not happy with that score and we need to make improvements, straight up,” she said. “We are taking this very seriously, as we should be. And want to make corrections and move forward. In all honesty, it’s quite embarrassing.”
Mine Kargi, owner of The Bridge, said that they have fixed the issues. “We want our customers to know that our most recent score was 100, and as a small local business, we will be pleased to keep our high standards to make the people happy,” Kargi said.
Calls to Pazzo’s and Mandarin for comment were not returned.
Restaurants are placed on probation but remain open if they score 84 or below or have critical violations that cannot be immediately corrected.
Sometimes restaurants have issues that can be fixed immediately and they are reinspected; if the new score is above 84, they are not placed on probation.
If a restaurant scores 60 or below, or has live roaches or rodents visible, then it is shut down immediately.
Critical violations are those most likely to impact public health such as potentially hazardous food, unhygienic practices such as lack of handwashing or proper gloving, improper sanitizing of dishes or utensils, lack of hot water, plumbing issues, signs of insects or rodents, toxic items improperly labeled or stored.
Inspections are a snapshot of a food service establishment on any given day but with food-borne illnesses such as hepatitis A on the rise in Kentucky, proper hand-washing and gloving and the sanitizing of dishes are extremely important, the health department says.
Inspectors say the probation list is its way of targeting the places that have the most risk of creating a serious health risk. Once a restaurant is on probation, inspections are stepped up to three times a year instead of two.
Restaurants come off probation after passing two consecutive regular inspections with no critical violations. Some restaurants have been on probation for years.
As of early February, more than 160 places were on probation. Here are the restaurants added to the probation list between Dec. 21 and Feb. 6:
▪ Africa and Caribbean Imports, 1315 Winchester Road, was placed on probation on Jan. 7 after scoring 83. The inspector found unsafe chicken wings; no thermometer to check food temperature; improper thawing methods being used for potentially hazardous foods; raw product stored above vegetables in the reach-in cooler; scented bleach being used for sanitizing in the three-compartment sink; and cleaning chemicals stored above dry food. The retail side scored 92.
▪ The Bridge, 342 Romany Road, is on probation after a Jan. 9 inspection despite scoring 95. The inspector found that the dishwasher was not sanitizing properly and kitchen equipment was dirty inside and out.
▪ Buffalo Wild Wings, 1080 South Broadway, was placed on probation on Dec. 27 after scoring 82. The inspector noted employee drinks and personal items stored throughout the kitchen and bar area; improper dishwashing in bar; inadequate sanitizing practices; and dirty walls and ceiling throughout the kitchen.
▪ Clarion Hotel, 1950 Newtown Pike, was placed on probation on Jan. 2 after scoring 76. The inspector noted potentially hazardous food not date marked correctly; food uncovered in reach-in coolers; potentially hazardous food stored improperly; personal items on prep surfaces; duct tape used at drink station; dirty wiping cloths not stored in sanitizer buckets, dirty grills, fryers, chains on pot rack, shelves and cooler; leak at the hand sink in the kitchen; floors, walls and ceiling tiles in poor repair; and personal medication stored in prep area.
▪ Country Inn & Suites, 2297 Executive Drive, was placed on probation on Jan. 10 despite scoring 93. The inspector found dishware not being sanitized and improper storage of clean dishes and utensils.
▪ Double Tree Guest Suites, 2601 Richmond Road, has been on probation since Dec. 26 despite scoring 90 after an inspection found food not clearly marked to indicate the date or day by which it should be consumed, sold or discarded; dirty soda nozzles; dirty cooler; and clean utensils stored in unclean container.
▪ First Presbyterian Church, 171 Market Street, was placed on probation on Jan. 11 after an inspection that scored 92. The inspector found eggs stored improperly in the cooler; rusted shelves; dishwasher not properly sanitizing; and dirty wiping closed improperly handled.
▪ Gyroz Mediterranean, 393 Waller Avenue, was placed on probation on Feb. 1 after scoring 85. The inspector found personal drink stored on food prep surface; improper sanitizing; dirty surfaces; single service plates and containers stored on the floor; and dirty floors and kitchen walls.
▪ Kentucky Fried Chicken, 2401 Nicholasville Road, was placed on probation after a Dec. 21 inspection that scored 93 but had a large can opener in poor repair that was leaving metal shavings. Inspector also noted the inside of the microwave and the outside of many appliances were dirty; the kitchen walls were dirty and the floors were dirty.
▪ Kentucky Fried Chicken, 4141 Tates Creek Road, was placed on probation on Jan. 31 after scoring 91. The inspector found that the restaurant had no hot water due to a burst line; also, there was food stored on the floor in the refrigerator/freezer; and dirty handles, ice buckets, floor grates, ceiling and vents.
▪ Magee’s Bakery, 726 East Main Street, was placed on probation on Jan 22 after scoring 67 on an inspection. The inspector found potentially hazardous food held past the seven-day expiration; fried chicken that wasn’t hot enough and eggs that weren’t cold enough; multiple food items stored without cover when not in use; icing being dispensed with utensils without a handle; employee preparing food without beard or hair restraint; dirty wiping cloths on food prep surfaces; dirty stand mixers, bins, fryers and grills; dish washing machine leaking, causing water underneath that is stagnant; and no hand sink in food prep area of kitchen, among other things.
▪ Mandarin, 2220 Nicholasville Road, was place on probation on Jan. 17 after scoring 63. The inspector found multiple instances of potentially hazardous food; employees working without hair restraints as the inspector walked in; bare-hand contact with fried rice; employees’ open personal food in unauthorized part of the kitchen and above food; improper handling of dirty wet wiping cloths; food surfaces not cleaned at least every 24 hours; dirty surfaces; leaking dishwasher; dirty floors and walls; and dirty mop stored in floor, among other things.
▪ Meals on Wheels, 460 East Main Street, was placed on probation Jan. 9 despite scoring 91. The inspector noted potentially hazardous food improperly stored in freezers (raw chicken/poultry above beef and ready to eat items; eggs above ready to eat items); and improperly sanitizing dishwasher, among other things.
▪ Minit Mart, 1998 Harrodsburg Road, was placed on probation Jan. 29 after scoring 83 on food service and 81 on retail. The inspector found undated hot dogs; tongs not being sanitized; employees without hair restraints; improper sanitizing; lack of hand washing; chemicals stored above paper towels; chemical spray bottle not labeled; and a score of 83. On the retail size, the inspector also found expired medications and unsanitized surfaces.
▪ Miracles and Wonder Play and Learn daycare, 1183 Devonport Drive, was placed on probation on Feb. 4 after scoring 84. The inspector noted food stored uncovered in freezer; employee not wearing gloves while preparing food; employee without proper hair restraint; and facility using residential dishwasher that cannot properly sanitize dishes, among other things.
▪ Original Brooklyn Pizza, 3330 Partner Place Suite 124, was placed on probation on Jan. 28 after scoring 86. The inspector found potentially hazardous food in a reach-in cooler that was not at 41 degrees; raw chicken was stored above raw beef; missing thermometers to check food temps; rusted shelves; improper sanitizing including the dish machine not dispensing chlorine; toilets and sinks unclean in restroom; and spray bottles not labeled, toxic chemicals stored next to food items and single serve items, among other things.
▪ Pazzo’s, 385 South Limestone, was placed on probation on Dec. 27 after an inspection that scored 87. The inspector found expired food in coolers, including meatballs, peppers, onions and broccoli; inadequate dishwashing; dirty shelves, floors and cabinet under the soda machine.
▪ Qdoba Mexican Grill, 2337 Sir Barton Way, was placed on probation on Feb. 6 after scoring 79. The inspector found green peppers stored on the floor of the walk-in cooler; personal drink stored on a shelf above the prep area; rusted shelving in kitchen; wiping cloths stored improperly throughout the kitchen; dirty kitchen equipment, shelves, cookie oven and other surfaces; dirty utensils stored near the three-compartment sink; dirty handsinks throughout kitchen; handsinks used for purposes other than hand washing; trash on ground of premises; dirty floor and kitchen walls; and a dishwashing apron stored in contact with dishware, among other things.
▪ Second Presbyterian Church, 460 East Main Street, was placed on probation on Jan. 9 despite scoring 93. The inspector noted the dishwasher improperly sanitizing, among other things.
▪ Sir Pizza, 463 West New Circle Road, was placed on probation on Jan. 25 after scoring 77. The inspector found potentially hazardous food held longer than 24 hours and not date marked; employees not washing hands properly; dirty wiping cloths improperly stored; dirty surfaces including coolers, shelves and equipment; no hot water at the hand sink and toxic items improperly stored, among other things.
▪ Sonic, 2633 Richmond Road, was placed on probation on Jan. 14 after scoring 82. The inspector found dirty ice machine, soda nozzles and equipment; no hand soap at hand wash sink; toilet leaking in men’s room; standing water in the walk-in cooler; sanitizer bucket stored on the counter and personal items improperly stored.
▪ Speedway, 1281 East New Circle Road, was placed on probation on Jan. 7 despite scoring 90 on food service and 96 on retail. Employees had no Fayette County food handler cards and there was no food manager present; counters, ice machine dispensers, shelving and cabinets were dirty; floors were dirty beneath and behind equipment; and the light fixture on the pizza warmer wasn’t shielded as required, among other things.
▪ Spuds Tavern, 3130 Pimlico Parkway, was placed on probation on Dec. 28. Despite scoring 92, the inspector saw no hair restraints being worn, and evidence of rodents was observed.
▪ Subway, 386 Woodland Avenue, was placed on probation Jan. 7 despite scoring 90. The inspector noted an employee preparing food without Fayette County food handler cards; food manager permitting employees to work under food handler cards not in their name (falsifying cards); improper sanitizing; and dishes not allowed to air dry prior to stacking.
▪ Subway, 3061 Fieldstone Way, was placed on probation on Jan. 11 after scoring 88. The inspector noted food stored uncovered in the walk-in cooler; personal items on the food prep surface; a mop stored improperly and no food manager present.
▪ Subway, 1951 Stanton Way, was placed on probation on Feb. 1 after scoring 89. The inspector found expired milk; lack of proper refrigeration for potentially hazardous foods including sliced produce and condiments; and dirty shelves and wall, among other things.
▪ Super Mercada Aquacalientes, 459 West New Circle Road, was placed on probation on Dec. 26 after scoring 74 for food service. The inspector noted potentially hazardous food held longer than 24 hours not date marked, meats stored above ready-to-eat food, employees not properly washing hands, personal drinks stored on prep surfaces, inadequate sanitizer in buckets at the prep station, dirty wipes not stored in sanitizer buckets, dirty equipment throughout the kitchen, a leak at the hand sink by the mop sink, hand sinks being used for other purposes, no paper towels at hand sink and dirty floors. For retail, the store scored 95 despite having expired milk for sale.
▪ Tachibana Restaurant, 785 Newtown Court, was placed on probation on Feb. 4 after scoring 76. The inspector found potentially hazardous food held longer than 24 hours and not properly date marked; bulk containers not labeled; no thermometers for checking food temps; eggs and chicken stored above ready-to-eat foods; scoops with handles stored in product; personal items stored on prep surface with clean dishes; dishwasher not properly sanitizing; and dirty wiping clothes improperly stored, among other things.
▪ Texas de Brazil, 151 Larue, Suite 150 at The Summit, was placed on probation on Jan. 22 after scoring 80 on inspection. The inspector found no thermometer to check the temperature of food; multiple personal drinks stored on food prep surfaces or above food prep surfaces; and wiping cloths improperly stored in food prep surfaces, among other things.
▪ Thornton’s, 1120 Winchester Road, was placed on probation on Jan. 7 after scoring 76 for food service and 90 for retail. The inspector found a personal drink stored improperly; no hand sanitizer at the three-compartment sink, which also was blocked; dirty wiping cloths throughout the establishment; dirty cabinets, inside of microwave, ice dispenser at soda machine and shelving for creamer, stirrers and sugar; single-service items stored on the floor; lids stored on dirty surface; hand sink, which was blocked, also had no hand towels; dirty floor; and personal items improperly stored throughout.
▪ Yummy Yummy, 1395 West Main Street, was placed on probation on Jan. 31 after scoring 76. The inspector found raw poultry and beef stored above vegetables; food stored uncovered in coolers; dry food product uncovered throughout the kitchen; food service employee not wearing hair restraint; improper sanitizing including employee using a dirty cloth with no sanitizer on food prep surface; dirty shelves, equipment and knives; personal items stored on the prep surface; and no paper towels at the hand sink on the main prep line, among other things.