St. Paul eateries cited for violations

  • Article by: JANE FRIEDMANN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 14, 2010 - 10:44 AM

One three-year-old restaurant had so many health code violations that the city shut it down. Another restaurateur was sent to buy sanitizer. At many establishments, inspectors issued citations for cold food that was too hot and hot food that was too cold.

One three-year-old restaurant had so many health code violations that the city shut it down. Another restaurateur was sent to buy sanitizer. At many establishments, inspectors issued citations for cold food that was too hot and hot food that was too cold.

The city of St. Paul inspected 238 of the city's 826 restaurants in the third quarter of 2010. The Department of Safety and Inspections reports list violations as critical (major), critical (minor) and noncritical. Critical violations pose a higher risk of causing food-borne illness.

To identify the top 10 violators, I added up all critical violations that were new or uncorrected after a previous inspection.

1 Kim Huoy Chor Asian Cuisine, 1664 University Av. W., 13 critical, 6 major

The restaurant's licenses were revoked in October, the first time in recent memory that the City Council has done so because of food-code violations. Inspectors' photographs showed cockroaches, rat droppings and dirty dishes in tall piles on the floor. Of the six inspections in August and September, one followed a complaint of pests and another came after two customers reported getting sick.

Violations: Cold food as warm as 93 degrees. Rice and meat cooled at room temperature. Scale and rust in ice machine. Dishwasher water not hot enough to sanitize. Cooked wontons stored in raw-chicken packaging. Pastries from unapproved location.

2 Sawatdee, 486 Robert St. N., 9 critical, 4 major

Chicken and shrimp at 75 degrees, or 65 degrees below the requirement for hot food. Employee beverages and medications in kitchen. Beef left to dry for hours at room temperature before cooking. No bucket for sanitizer. No sanitizer detected in wiping cloths. Uncovered containers.

3 Everest on Grand, 1278 Grand Av., 8 critical, 5 major

Cold food in buffet as warm as 64 degrees. Employees rinsed hands without soap or towels. Hand sink not accessible. Employee failed to wash hands while alternating between prepping raw chicken and unloading dishwasher. Employee beverages in kitchen. Mouse droppings in one location. Prep drawer too warm.

4 (tied) Asian Express Foods, 1151 Clarence St., 7 critical, 2 major

Food not date marked. Eggs not refrigerated. Pot in hand sink. Open containers.

4 (tied) River Boat Grill, 105 Harriet Island Road, 7 critical, 2 major

Food in coolers as warm as 64 degrees. Many drain flies and house flies found. Too-weak cleaning solutions.

6 (tied) Muffuletta in the Park, 2260 Como Av., 6 critical, 4 major

One inspection was made after three customers tested positive for salmonella enteritidis. Food in prep rail as warm as 58 degrees. No written procedure for determining when sauces must be discarded. Unpasteurized eggs not properly cooked. Use of foraged mushrooms, which are prohibited. Scale in ice machine.

6 (tied) Pappy's Chicago Style Eatery, 1783 Maryland Av. E., 6 critical, 4 major

Prep cooler as warm as 55 degrees. Dishes stored in hand sink. Employee food and drink in kitchen. Unlabeled bottles.

6 (tied) Tavern on Grand, 656 Grand Av., 6 critical, 4 major

Food in coolers as warm as 55 degrees. Cooked potatoes sitting out at 78 degrees. Direct hand contact with food or ice. Unlabeled bottles. Unapproved container.

9 5 Star Cafe, 2469 W. 7th St., 6 critical, 3 major

Soup in cooler at 73 degrees. Half-and-half at 47 degrees. No dish sanitizer on premises. Dishes stored in hand sink. Unapproved container.

10 Vina Highland Vietnamese Restaurant, 756 Cleveland Av. S., 6 critical, 2 major

Tofu in prep rail at 56 degrees. Egg rolls prepared hours earlier were at 72 degrees. Raw chicken stored in wastebasket in cooler. Too-weak cleaning solution. Unapproved containers.

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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