Almost every day, inspectors from the Benton-Franklin Health District fan across the Mid-Columbia to check on the sanitation practices of the Mid-Columbia’s more than 1,000 licensed food service establishments.
The Tri-City Herald began publishing the results in early July, highlighting establishments that faced re-inspection and posting all reports. .
The reports have been popular with readers. Starting this week, the Herald and the health district are including brief notes highlighting the inspector’s comments. The change is intended to help readers to better understand the often-complicated findings. The reports will also have a permanent home. Whenever possible, they will be published in the Monday edition of the paper.
All food service establishments are subject to inspection and are rated on a point system that is spelled out in Washington law, which in turn is based on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Model Food Code. The code guides everything from storage temperatures to how ingredients are positioned in coolers.
Restaurants are commonly faulted in two areas — hand-washing sinks and food worker cards. Restaurants must have dedicated sinks for hand washing, stocked with soap and paper towels. The sinks may not be used for any other purpose. Restaurants must also have valid food worker cards for all employees within two weeks of their date of hire, no exceptions.
Red points reflect more concerning issues that require immediate inspection. An establishment receiving 25 or more points on a routine inspection is slated for re-inspection. Blue points indicate situations that need to be rectified, but not immediately, such as an uneven floor.
To view copies of the health department’s reports for all establishments inspected, go to tricityherald.com.
Mi Lindo Nayarit, 1315 N. Fourth Ave., Pasco, routine inspection, Aug. 18 (40 Red, 0 Blue )
Notes: No active management on site to monitor food safety; not all workers have valid food worker cards.
Helados La Michoacana, 712 N. 20th Ave., Pasco, routine inspection, Aug. 17, 2016 (55 Red, 0 Blue)
Notes: No active management on site to ensure compliance; food workers did not have proper or correct answers to food safety questions; hand wash sink did not have paper towels.
Taqueria Los Volcanes, 3616 W. Court St., Pasco, routine inspection, Aug. 17, (55 Red, 5 Blue)
Notes: No active management on site to enforce food safety rules, cutting board present in hand wash sink, raw meat improperly stored near ready to eat foods including salsa.
Socorros Catering Mobile, 1206 Horne Road, Benton City, routine inspection, Aug. 18, (75 Red, 2 Blue). Aug. 19 Follow Up: No points.
Notes: Person in charge not following all food safety guidelines, observed flipping tortillas with bare hands, raw beef improperly stored above raw vegetables in refrigerator.
Col Solare Winery, 50207 Antinori Road, Benton City, routine inspection, Aug. 19, (45 Red, 0 Blue)
Notes: Two of five employees do not have a valid food worker card; meat held at unsafe temperatures on meat slicer and on platters on counter; improper vacuum packaging of cheese and meats without appropriate plan.
Tacos Garcia, 3680 Van Giesen St., West Richland, routine inspection, Aug. 16 (50 Red, 0 Blue)
Notes: Facility lacks managerial control, person in charge unable to locate food worker charges or produce a working digital thermometer. Hand-wash sink used for nonhand-washing purposes. Under counter/prep cooler not working.
Azteca, 2807 W. 10th Ave., Kennewick, routine inspection, Aug. 12 (40 Red, 0)
Notes: Worker observed making guacamole and handling produce with bare hands, dedicated hand wash sink used for other purposes, not all employees have valid food worker cards.
Burger King #4193, 7404 W. Canal Drive, Kennewick, follow up to July 15 inspection (25 Red)
Notes: Tray of sliced tomatoes in assembly area had no time sticker indicating discard period.
Red Bento Teriyaki, 1320 N. 20th Ave., Pasco, routine inspection, Aug. 9 (95 Red , 18 Blue). Follow up inspection Aug. 10 (10 Red )
Notes: No active on site manager to control food risks; no food worker card copies on site for food workers; no working paper towel dispenser at hand wash sink; raw shell eggs stored above ready to eat foods, perishables including imitation crab meat stored at room temperature; improper temperature storage; inaccurate use of temperature and time control for food; no digital thermometer on site.