Health Department Inspections


Health Department Inspections is a regular listing of inspections conducted in Surry County establishments by North Carolina health officials. The listing includes restaurants, schools, day care facilities, adult care and other facilities. The listings give the health inspector score, if applicable, along with the text of their findings in their words.

Taqueria El Mexicano, 7886 Hwy 268, Dobson. Inspected Feb. 19, score 85. Violations: 1) PIC present, Demonstration – Certification by accredited program, and performs duties: Certified Food Protection Manager – C – No one is currently certified as a food protection manger at this location. The person in charge must be certified as a food protection manager.

2) No bare hand contact with RTE foods or a pre-approved alternate properly followed: Preventing Contamination from Hands – P,PF – (REPEAT) An employee was witnessed handling tortillas with their bare hands. Employees cannot touch ready to eat foods with their bare hands. Gloves were implemented to correct the violation.

3) Food separated and protected: Packaged and Unpackaged Food-Separation, Packaging, and Segregation – P – *REPEAT* Raw chicken and pork was found stored above produce in the walk in cooler. Raw bacon was found above tortillas in the prep unit. Raw chicken was found on the drainboard of the prep sink while cooked beef tongue was in the prep sink. Keep all raw meats stored below or away from ready to eat foods. Several boxes of produce were found on the floor in the walk in cooler. Keep all food items stored at least six inches off of the floor. Raw meats and produce were relocated to correct the violation. The cooked beef tongue was containerized and was removed from the sink and cooled properly in the walk in cooler.

4) Food-contact surfaces: cleaned and sanitized: Equipment, Food-Contact Surfaces, Nonfood-Contact Surfaces, and Utensils – P – The slicer and ice crusher had build-up on them where they had sat for a long period of time uncovered. Keep all food contact surfaces clean to sight and touch. The slicer and ice crusher were cleaned and sanitized and will be kept covered to prevent debris and dust from settling on the food contact surfaces of the machines.

5) Proper date marking and disposition: Ready-To-Eat Potentially Hazardous Food (Time/Temperature Control for Safety Food), Date Marking – PF – *REPEAT* No items in the establishment were date marked today. Several foods requiring date marking had been opened, prepared and refrigerated over 24 hours before inspection today. These items were properly date marked to correct the violation. Items in violation were: mozzarella and ham in the prep unit and cooked cow tongue and mozzarella in the walk in cooler. Ready-To-Eat Potentially Hazardous Food (Time/Temperature Control for Safety Food), Disposition – P – Cooked ham was found in the prep unit from 2/11/16 (day9). All foods requiring date marking must be sold, served or discarded within seven days of being opened, prepared or cooked.

6) Approved thawing methods used: Thawing – C – Raw chicken was found thawing on the meat prep sink drainboard at room temperature today. Use an approved method to thaw foods safely. Chicken can be thawed under running water with a maximum temperature of 70 degrees F. or placed in the walk in cooler to thaw. The chicken was prepped partially frozen and returned to the walk in cooler to correct the violation.

7) Single-use and single-service articles; properly stored and used: Equipment, Utensils, Linens and Single-Service and Single-Use Articles-Storing – C – The inside of the plastic wrap container had build-up inside of it today. Keep the plastic wrap container clean and free of build-up.

8) Equipment, food and non-food-contact surfaces approved; cleanable, properly designed, constructed and used: Good Repair and Proper Adjustment-Equipment – C – (REPEAT) Repair the walk in freezer that is broken. Food Equipment, Certification and Classification – C – (REPEAT) Remove or replace the two domestic food processors and the chest freezer that does not meet chapters 4-1 and 4-2 of the NC Food Code.

9) Plumbing installed; proper backflow devices: Backflow Prevention Device, When Required – P – A backflow preventer is needed on the canwash faucets that have a hose attached to them. I will return in 10 days to ensure that backflow preventers are installed on the canwash.

10) Garbage and refuse properly disposed; facilities maintained: Outdoor Storage Surface – C – *REPEAT* An outdoor storage surface for REFUSE, recyclables, and returnables shall be constructed of nonabsorbent material such as concrete or asphalt and shall be SMOOTH, durable, and sloped to drain. The grease trap storage surface needs to be repaired or resurfaced to meet the NC Food Code requirement.

The Lantern Restaurant, 304 N. Main St., Dobson. Inspected Feb. 16, score 90. Violations: 1) Food separated and protected: Packaged and Unpackaged Food-Separation, Packaging, and Segregation – P — In several areas of the facility, raw food was stored improperly. Examples include the following: ground beef above whole pork in the 2-door reach-in cooler, sausage above eggs in the 2-door reach-in cooler, whole beef above ready-to-eat foods in the 2-door reach-in cooler, Philly steak and uncooked chicken above french fries in the reach-in freezer, raw beef above liquid margarine in the back prep area cooler, raw ground beef above cakes in the walk-in freezer, raw chicken above whole pork in the walk-in freezer, etc.). Remember, raw/uncooked meats must be stored according to minimum internal cooking temperatures. Raw whole pork, whole beef, and whole fish, and eggs cooked to order must be cooked to at least 145 degrees F. Raw ground meats (excluding ground poultry) must be cooked to a minimum of 155 degrees F. Whole and ground chicken must be cooked to 165 degrees F. The lower the minimum internal cooking temperature, the higher it is to be stored in the units. Ready-to-eat food must be stored above all raw foods. This is to be corrected on or before 2/25/16.

2) Proper cooling time and temperatures: Cooling – P — Gravy prepared this morning at 7:00 AM was reading 103 degrees F after cooling for 6 hours. Grits, placed in an ice bath to cool read 94 degrees F, even after cooling for 3.5 hours. When cooling food the food product must cool from 135 degrees F to 70 degrees F within 2 hours, then from 70 degrees F to 45 degrees F within an additional 4 hours. The gravy and grits were thrown away to correct this.

3) Proper cold holding temperatures: Potentially Hazardous Food (Time/Temperature Control for Safety Food), Hot and Cold Holding – P — The salad bar is holding temperatures of food at 48-50 degrees F. Cold foods must be kept at 45 degrees F or below. I will need to return before 2/25/16 to ensure that the salad bar has been repaired and is holding temperatures properly.

4) Proper date marking and disposition: Ready-To-Eat Potentially Hazardous Food (Time/Temperature Control for Safety Food), Date Marking – PF — Some foods in the facility were not date marked as required (deli turkey, taco meat). These were thrown away to correct this. Ready-To-Eat Potentially Hazardous Food (Time/Temperature Control for Safety Food), Disposition – P — Several other foods were not thrown away after the discard date had passed. These are as follows: spaghetti noodles, bologna, corned beef, hot dogs, and foot long hot dogs in the 2-door reach-in cooler; and ham in the sandwich unit. These items were immediately thrown away to correct this.

5) Proper cooling methods used; adequate equipment for temperature control: Cooling Methods – PF — Gravy and grits were cooling in an ice bath, but the ice was allowed to melt and the level of the ice bath was not completely surrounding the food, keeping the upper section of the food out of the ice. This does not allow the food to quickly cool. When cooling in an ice bath, the ice must be kept replenished to as high as the food in the container. I would also recommend using stainless steel containers when cooling as they allow for quicker cooling. There was a large container of gravy in the 2-door reach-in cooler that was reading 103 degrees F after 6 hours. Because the hot gravy was stored in a deep, plastic container and covered with a tight-fitting lid, the gravy was not able to cool. In this situation, the gravy should have been placed in a shallow stainless steel container, left uncovered on the top shelf in the reach-in cooler. This was corrected during the inspection by educating the employees and throwing away the food that was not cooled properly.

6) Contamination prevented during food preparation, storage and display: Food Storage-Preventing Contamination from the Premises – C — Keep all food off of the floor (chicken and bread in the walk-in freezer, cabbage in the floor near the dish washing area, cucumbers in the floor in the walk-in cooler (downstairs)). All opened packages of dry food must be stored in approved containers with tight-fitting lids to prevent contamination (corn meal). Use only scoops with handles to dispense dry foods to prevent potential contamination.

7) Equipment, food and non-food-contact surfaces approved; cleanable, properly designed, constructed and used: Food Equipment, Certification and Classification – C — Two domestic food processors were found in the back prep area. All equipment, except microwaves, toasters, and mixers, must be NSF-listed or in the absence of an NSF-listing, must meet the cleanability standards in Chapter 4 of the NC Food Code and must be used for their intended purpose. If the piece of equipment states “For household use only,” then it is not approved for use in a commercial restaurant. Good Repair and Calibration-Utensils and Temperature and Pressure Measuring Devices – C — Sand and paint chipping racks in the sauce cooler (used to be the raw meat cooler) to the right of the fryers.

8) Non-food-contact surfaces clean: Nonfood Contact Surfaces – C — Clean all nonfood contact surfaces (top of equipment; shelving; inside of fryer cabinets; top of dish machine).

9) Physical facilities installed, maintained and clean: Cleaning, Frequency and Restrictions – C — Clean the floors underneath equipment. Floors, Walls and Ceilings-Cleanability – C — Keep all storage at least 6 inches off of the floor (bottles of drinks in the wait station, storage downstairs, etc.). Walls and Ceilings, Attachments – C — Make sure all holes in the walls are covered or sealed up. Since a roach was seen, you will want to close up any opening to the inside of the wall to prevent harborage and breeding places that are difficult to treat.

10) Meets ventilation and lighting requirements; designated areas used: Intensity-Lighting – C — There are 2 burned out bulbs under the back prep area’s hood system . Replace these bulbs with daylight CFL or LED bulbs (highest intensity). Replace the light fixture in the men’s restroom downstairs. Light Bulbs, Protective Shielding – C — There are two bulbs above the prep station that are not shatterproof and should be replaced with shatterproof or the plastic tubes can be placed around them to cover them properly.

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