St. Paul's top food-code violators

  • Updated: August 21, 2011 - 8:43 AM

An employee grabbed ready-to-eat noodles with his bare hand. A food slicer was heavily coated with old food. Hand sinks were unusable.

These and other violations were found during inspections of 235 of St. Paul's nearly 800 restaurants in the second quarter of 2011.

I reviewed 299 inspection reports to identify the 10 businesses with the highest number of new or unabated critical violations during that time.

Critical violations, categorized as major or minor, pose a higher risk of causing food-borne illness. Asterisks indicate critical violations still present at a subsequent inspection in the second quarter of 2011.

1 Mai Village Vietnamese Restaurant, 394 University Av. W., 9 critical violations (5 major, 4 minor), 20 total violations

No soap, towels at kitchen hand sinks. Cold meats as warm as 65 degrees. Hot food as cool as 120 degrees. Employee grabbed ready-to-eat noodles with bare hand. Open storage containers. Food slicer heavily coated with old food. Plastic container of fried noodles coated in old grease. Beverage gun holders heavily soiled.

2 WA Frost and Company, 374 Selby Av., 8 critical (2 major, 6 minor), 22 total

Employee beverages in open cups. Cold food as warm as 52 degrees. Cookies stored in container that can't be washed properly.* Bucket of sanitizer empty but was replaced during inspection. Fruit flies present.*

3 Patrick McGovern's Pub, 225 W. 7th St., 7 critical (1 major, 6 minor), 20 total

Bulk food stored in open containers.* Mold in pop holsters.* Unlabeled sprays. Food not dated-marked. Plates of uncovered salad stacked in cooler.

4 Rice Palace Buffet, 1626 White Bear Av. N., 7 critical (3 major, 4 minor), 21 total

Employee beverages in open containers. Cooked noodles not cooled properly. Cold food as warm as 69 degrees. Food not date-marked. Raw beef stored above green onions. Bulk food in open container. Hand sinks inaccessible, lacked hot water.

5 Babani's Kurdish Restaurant, 544 St. Peter St., 7 critical (5 major, 2 minor), 14 total

Cold food as warm as 55.2 degrees. Hot food as cool as 77.4 degrees. Prep cooler at 50 degrees. Items stored in hand sink. All hand sinks inoperable. Dishwasher lacked sanitizer. Hose attached to mop-sink faucet.

6 Central Towers (senior housing), 20 E. Exchange St., 5 critical (1 major, 4 minor), 7 total

Too-weak sanitizing solution. No backflow preventer on equipment.* Hand sink inaccessible.

7 Keys Restaurant, 767 Raymond Av., 5 critical (1 major, 4 minor), 9 total

Cold food as warm as 45 degrees. Mouse droppings in basement (possibly old). Open containers of pasta, cereal in food storage room. Live cockroaches in food storage room.*

8 Cafe Minnesota at the Minnesota History Center, 345 W. Kellogg Blvd., 4 critical (3 major, 1 minor), 9 total

Hot food as cool as 123.7 degrees. Cooler too warm at 45.5 degrees. Blade of food slicer soiled.

9 Skinner's Pub & Eatery, 919 Randolph Av., 4 critical (1 major, 3 minor), 20 total

Cold food as warm as 52 degrees. No sanitizer in cleaning solution. Sanitizing water at wrong temperature. Cooler condensation drains to bucket without proper air gap.

10 Tiffany Sports Lounge, 2051 Ford Pkwy., 4 critical (4 minor), 15 total

Food not date-marked.* Bulk food in open containers.*

Inspections update

Patrick McGovern's, Central Towers, Keys Restaurant, Cafe Minnesota and Tiffany Sports Lounge have corrected all the critical violations as of Aug. 12.

Mai Village, Rice Palace and Skinner's have since reduced their critical violations to 1, 2 and 3 respectively.

WA Frost and Babani's Kurdish Restaurant had not yet had follow-up inspections early last week.

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

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