Fewer food code issues in St. Paul

  • Article by: JANE FRIEDMANN
  • Updated: March 14, 2011 - 11:28 AM

A restaurant with a history of rat and cockroach infestations and numerous other health-code violations led my list of St. Paul food-code violators in the third quarter of 2010.

It also leads my current list of fourth-quarter violators. But Kim Huoy Chor Asian Cuisine won't be scoring a hat trick because the city revoked all of its licenses in October.

The St. Paul Department of Safety and Inspections visited 223 of the city's roughly 825 restaurants in the fourth quarter of 2010. Inspectors identified 932 violations that were either new or uncorrected from previous inspections. That's down significantly from 1,438 found at 238 restaurants the previous quarter.

Inspectors went to 28 restaurants to follow up on complaints to the city. The complaint investigations identified 68 new or uncorrected violations. The department lists violations as critical (major), critical (minor) and noncritical. Critical violations pose a higher risk of causing food-borne illness.

Here are the 10 restaurants that had the highest number of new or uncorrected critical violations in the fourth quarter of 2010. I used severity of violations and number of overall violations to break ties.

1 Kim Huoy Chor Asian Cuisine, 1664 University Av. W., 6 critical, 2 major

The restaurant's licenses were revoked Oct. 13, one day after the fourth inspection that month.

Violations found: Scale, mold in ice machine. Beverage in styrofoam cup placed directly on top of egg rolls in cooler. Cooler at 48 degrees. Cold food too warm at 50 to 90 degrees. Beaten egg stored over cilantro. Several dozen dead cockroaches in basement.

2 Christos Greek Restaurant, 214 4th St. E., 5 critical, 4 major

Gyros meat between 86 degrees on cone and 128.6 degrees on tray. Drink-gun holder dirty and clogged.

Second inspection: Gyros between 66.9 degrees on cone and 120 degrees on tray.

The inspector requested that the City Council take adverse action against Christos' license.

3 Saigon Express, 1098 Arcade St., 4 critical, 2 major

A standing mixer blocked a hand sink, newspaper and towels covered food. Bulk food in open containers. Some food expired or not date-marked.

4 Coffee News Café, 1662 Grand Av., 4 critical, 1 major

Bare hands were used to dish raw, room-temperature garlic from a container, creating the potential for contamination. No sanitizer in wiping bucket. Mouse droppings in basement. Open beverages in prep areas.

5 Town and Country Club, 300 N. Mississippi River Blvd., 4 critical, 1 major

Cold food as warm as 45 degrees. Ice bin repaired with silicone, an unapproved food-contact surface. Dirty drink-gun holders. Some food being vacuum-packed on site lacked a written food-safety plan.

6 Barrio Bar and Restaurant, 235 E. 6th St., 4 critical, none major

Bulk food in open containers. Food not date-marked. Too-weak sanitizing solution. Soiled wooden bowls.

7 Sawatdee, 486 N. Robert St., 4 critical, none major

Unapproved rice cookers. No sanitizer bucket or sanitizer in wet-wiping cloths. Bulk food in open containers.

Second inspection: Bulk food in open containers.

8 Casa Viega, 2176 W. 7th St., 3 critical, 1 major

Fruit flies present. Dressing too warm at 50-52 degrees. Sugar container had no lid.

9 The Grand Sandwich, 1672 Grand Av., 3 critical, 1 major

Spray bottle not labeled. Mouse dropping in electrical room. Cold food as warm as 51 degrees.

10 Depot Bar, 241 E. Kellogg Blvd., 3 critical, 1 major

Turkey too cool at 125.4 degrees. Manual dish-washing procedure lacked proper sanitizing solution.

Second inspection: Manual dish-washing procedure lacked proper sanitizing solution.

Hard Data digs into public records and puts a spotlight on rule breakers in the Twin Cities and Minnesota. Contact me at jfriedmann@startribune.com.

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