Hear how restaurants end up on probation, and what it means
An unlucky 13 food-service establishments in Lexington were added to the Fayette County health department watch list between mid-September and mid-October, including a public school, three convenience stores, a juicery, a barbecue place, a sushi joint, an Indian buffet and several Mexican restaurants.
Health issues last month included potentially hazardous food including biscuits, boloney and beer cheese, utensils on rusty nails, dirty equipment and counters, toilets that wouldn’t flush, insects in produce and lots and lots of flies.
The health department puts restaurants and food service providers on probation if they score below 85 on an inspection or have critical violations such as dishwashers that aren’t sanitizing utensils, plates, equipment, etc. or employees using unsanitary procedures such as not washing their hands or using gloves properly, placing personal items where they can transfer germs to food, or not wearing hair restraints.
Critical violations are those with the most potential to harm the public health; the best weapons against food-borne illnesses, such as the norovirus outbreak that closed the Fayette Mall food court and Chick-fil-A this summer, are hand-washing and proper hygiene, according to health department inspectors.
Once a restaurant is place on probation, inspections are stepped up to every four months instead of every six months; if a restaurant passes regular inspection with no critical violations twice in a row, it comes off of probation.
Last month, several restaurants came off the list, including on that had been on since 2015: Happy Panda. Also off probation: Champs Skate Center, Baskin-Robbins on North Locust Hill, Black Pearl Kiosk on Nicholasville, and Mayfair Village nursing home. Some restaurants that were on the probation list dropped off because they have closed permanently, including Cosi at Hamburg, Applebee’s on Nicholasville and Life BrewPub.
As of mid-October, there were more than 114 restaurants on health department probation. You can also look up the latest inspection scores for any restaurant in the online database on Kentucky.com.
Here, in alphabetical order, are the restaurants placed on probation between mid-September and mid-October, with a summary of the inspection reports:
Centro Americano, 1426 Village Drive, landed on probation after an Oct. 8 inspection score of 83 for violations including potentially hazardous food, dirty equipment and surfaces, a leaking sink in the kitchen, a toilet that wouldn’t flush, and “multiple flying insects ... in restroom and kitchen.”
Clamato’s, 2304 Versailles Road, was placed on probation on Sept. 24 after an inspection found food in boxes on the floor in the freezer, the dishwasher not sanitizing properly, and a condenser leak in walk-in refrigerator. The restaurant scored an 89.
Dairy Mart, 155 East Reynolds Road, is known to many as THE place to buy lottery tickets. But the store’s luck ran a little short last month: It was placed on probation on Oct. 17 after a health department inspector found no thermometer in the beer cheese cooler, dirty shelves, and no sink in the restroom, resulting in a score of 89.
Dickey’s BBQ Pit, 1315 Winchester Road, was placed on probation on Sept. 26 after a full sheet of violations that resulted in a score of 75, the lowest of the month and requiring a follow-up within 10 days. Among other things, an inspector found personal drinks in the food prep area, employees without hair restraints, soiled rags where they could contaminate other items, a dirty can opener, flying insects in produce and back storage area, which had a hole in the wall and was dirty and full of litter.
El Huarache, 1316 Russell Cave Road, was placed on probation on Sept. 25 after an inspection found food storage containers in poor repair, a dirty reach-in cooler, no way to dry hands, and the presence of insects, among other things. The restaurant scored 89.
El Saboroso, 1445 Village Drive, was placed on probation on Oct. 17 after an inspection found food not properly covered in a walk-in cooler, employees’ food and drinks in the cooler and on food-prep surfaces, hair restraints missing on some staff and more. The restaurant scored 89.
La Marquesa, 3101 Clays Mill Road, was placed on probation after a Sept. 19 inspection found cooked chicken and beef at unsafe temperature for an undetermined time; no hair restraints on employees preparing food, improper sanitizing processes, and many dirty surfaces in the kitchen. The restaurant scored 84.
Midway Food Mart, 3895 Winchester Road, was placed on probation after a Sept. 21 inspection that found a full page of violations including potentially hazardous uncooked biscuits and sliced bologna stored where raw beef could cross-contaminate with dangerous bacteria, utensils on a dirty surface next to a fryer while in use, duct tape (a big no-no because it is porous and leaves a sticky residue) used on multiple surfaces, improper sanitizing, dirty dishes on dirty shelves, dirty countertops, clean utensils stored on rusty nails and single-service items (such as straws and to-go containers) stored on dirty floors. The food service scored 77, which also required a follow-up with in 10 days.
Oshimi Sushi, 1093 South Broadway, was placed on probation after an Oct. 17 inspection found that the urinal in the men’s room was in poor repair and and there was no consumer advisory about the potential dangers of eating raw sushi, among other things, resulting in a score of 94.
Speedway, 5360 Athens-Boonesboro Road, was placed on probation after scoring 89 on a Sept. 10 inspection that found potentially hazardous food improperly thawed, no hair restraints and other unhygienic practices, dirty coolers and fan guards in the walk-in beverage cooler. This is the third Speedway put on the probation list in 2018.
Tandoor Express, 630 Euclid Avenue, was placed on probation after a Sept. 12 inspection that found no hand soap at sinks and an “excessive amount” of drain flies, among other things. The restaurant scored a 90.
The Learning Center, 475 Price Road, was placed on probation after an Oct. 1 inspection found that utensils were not being properly sanitized. The school, which is part of the Fayette County School system, scored 94 overall.
The Weekly Juicery, 436 Old Vine, was placed on probation after an Oct. 8 inspection found hair restraints not being worn and an “excessive amount” of drain flies, among other things. The overall score was 92.