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Cheryl Gregory May 2013 Vista Room Inspection The Vista Room is a student-run, fine-dining restaurant open five

days a week for lunch. On a typical day, the restaurant serves 40-60 three-course meals. During the inspection, many unsanitary and unsafe practices and conditions were revealed that would cause the shut-down of the restaurant. Many of these problems can be and should be corrected immediately through additional training or by providing proper equipment and tools. First off, employee hygiene could be improved upon. This area is particularly difficult to correct due to the naturally high level of employee turnover compounded by the lack of enforcement. Employees wear proper shoes, uniforms, and hair restraints. However, some students forget to remove jewelry or fingernail polish and some staff do not wash hands between tasks, after touching their hair or face, or at other necessary times. A clock with a visible second hand should be located in clear view of the sink to help staff wash for the correct length of time. Staff should also be re-educated on the importance of not consuming beverages near food prep areas. To better enforce all aspects of employee hygiene, a three-strike rule could be implemented to help ensure students comply with policies. The biggest issue with food storage in the Vista Room occurs during service when the kitchen is busy. Many food items are not covered, labeled, or dated during this time period. This leads to either unsafe use of foods or unnecessary waste of food products. Again, the three-strike rule could help managers enforce safe storage procedures. The kitchen does a good job maintaining safe food storage temperatures, making sure food is

kept 6 inches off the floor, chemicals are stored separately, and that surfaces and floors are clean on a regular basis. One of the most blaring problems in the Vista Room is the state of the large equipment. For example, the meat slicer is improperly cleaned, the salamander is entirely unclean and both the oven and the backsplash have built-up grime. To my knowledge, no employees are specifically responsible for these tasks. An assigned employee, a regularly scheduled deep-clean, and a checklist may help keep large equipment clean on a regular basis. Many critical control points occur during food handling. Staff practices safe and proper thawing techniques and uses safe hot-holding temperatures but allows food to spend more than four hours in the temperature danger zone. TCS foods should only be removed from refrigeration when they can be prepped in a timely manner. Staff should be aware of more then just their task at hand to help monitor for left out food. Many food handlers do not wear gloves when preparing ready-to-eat foods because gloves are the incorrect size and a flimsy material. Proper equipment could improve compliance. Students use food tasting spoons, but the chef has extremely unsanitary food sampling practices. A three-strike rule combined with educational training may help reverse these practices. Lastly, cross-contamination from handlers, surfaces, and utensils occurs in the Vista Room. Again, training, a three-strike policy, and proper equipment such as meat specific cutting boards could help reduce cross-contamination during food handling. The Vista Room could improve upon their storage of utensils and equipment. Equipment was found stored on the floor, in unused and dirty ovens, and in dirty drawers. This problem is twofold; storage areas should be added to the regular cleaning checklist

and there should be adequate and labeled storage areas for all equipment. Small appliances are also stored improperly: uncovered next to open, unscreened, dirty windows. Also, in terms of equipment, staff lack the proper thermometers to measure internal food temperatures. Garbage is handled as best as possible in the Vista Room. Garbage is removed regularly and when necessary, cans are cleaned regularly, and boxes are removed promptly. The location of the garbage bins so close to the service-line is not ideal, but few other locations are available. Perhaps a small divider wall could help separate the garbage from the remainder of the kitchen or a small alcove could be created within the hall to house the garbage outside of the kitchen. Staff complies with proper cleaning and dishwashing techniques. There is correct use of the three-compartment sink, chlorine test kits are used to ensure proper sanitizing levels, and equipment is properly air-dried. All students should work to ensure racks used to dry equipment is also cleaned and these racks should be added to cleaning checklist. Management needs to supply containers or buckets so staff may properly house cleaning towels in sanitizing solution. The Vista Room did have pests in the recent past and proper action to prevent further pests has not been taken. There are still open, unscreened windows. The storage area is also difficult to inspect for evidence of pests due the unorganized state. A thorough cleaning will help reveal if any evidence of pests still exists. Overall, the Vista Room must make many changes to ensure safe food practices. Some issues such as cleaning and storage can be improved upon immediately with the implementation of policies and procedures. Other issues may be resolved by providing

proper equipment such as a clock near the hand-washing sink or thermometers. Problems that require additional training will take longer to correct. Due to the high level of turnover, continuous training programs will be necessary as well as strict rules and punishments to enforce proper food handling practices.