The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has posted an updated list of recent Retail Food Inspection Reports for restaurants and food handlers in Berks County. Inspections are a “snapshot” of the day and time of the inspection. Violations are recorded but are often corrected on the spot prior to the inspector leaving the facility.
On November 11, 2023, a comprehensive inspection was carried out at Sammy’s Poultry located at 2934 N 5th St, Reading, PA 19605, revealing several violations that warrant attention. Firstly, a food employee was observed not wearing proper hair restraint, such as a net or hat, in contravention of code 2-402.11. Additionally, the food contact surface of metal shelving in the walk-in refrigerator was found to be not smooth, easily cleanable, and/or resistant to pitting, cracking, or scratching, as required by code 4-101.11. Furthermore, the interior panel of the ice machine was observed to be soiled, indicating a need for cleaning in accordance with code 4-601.11(A).
On November 11, 2023, a comprehensive inspection was conducted at Tacos Mexica, situated at 2934 N 5th Street HWY, Reading, PA 19605, revealing several violations that require attention. Firstly, raw chicken was found stored above raw beef and seafood in the undercounter refrigerator, a violation of code 3-302.11. Additionally, utensils with handles positioned in different directions were observed, allowing the eating portion of the utensil to be contaminated, as stated in code 4-903.11 (A-B)(D). Furthermore, bain marie food (cheese) was held at 43.7 °F rather than the required 41°F or below under code 3-501.16(A2)(B); the issue was corrected by closing the lid, and the temperature dropped to the appropriate level. Lastly, refrigerator gaskets on undercounter thermometers/bain marie were found to be soiled, indicating a need for cleaning in accordance with code 4-202.16.
On November 8, 2023, a comprehensive inspection was conducted at Blue Marsh Restaurant & Pizzeria located at 5027 Bernville Rd, Bernville, PA 19506, revealing several violations that require attention. Firstly, frozen vacuum-packed fish was found thawed in the refrigerator while still in its packaging, a prohibited method of thawing under code 3-501.13. The issue was promptly corrected. Additionally, in the wait station area, clean food equipment and/or utensils were observed stored wet, hindering proper draining and air drying (wet nesting). Drink cups were stacked while wet and were sent back to be rewashed and air-dried, as indicated by code 4-903.11 (A-B)(D). Furthermore, the rear door located in the pizza dough prep area was found to have a large gap, failing to provide adequate protection against the entry of insects, rodents, and other animals, a violation of code 6-202.15. Lastly, soap was not initially available at the handwash sink in the kitchen area; however, this issue was promptly corrected, as per code 6-301.11.
On November 7, 2023, an inspection was conducted at Joe’s Kwik Marts (#1045) Exxon located at 2855 Perkiomen Ave, Reading, PA 19606, revealing several violations that require attention. Firstly, two gallons, four half gallons, and two 16oz bottles of milk were observed for sale beyond the sell-by date of 11/6/23, a violation of code 3-101.11. The issue was promptly corrected. Additionally, at the soda unit, some soda nozzles, considered food contact surfaces, were found to have residue and were not clean to sight and touch, a violation of code 4-601.11(A). The matter was addressed and corrected. Furthermore, dirt and residue were observed in various areas, including the counter under the self-serve drink units, inside the cabinets under the self-serve drink units, and the floor/shelving in the side room near the drink units, in violation of code 4-601.11(B-C). Rectification of these areas is necessary. Moreover, the original certificate for the certified food employee was not posted in public view, a violation of code 46.1201 (c). Lastly, evidence of rodent activity was indicated in some areas during the food facility inspection, and while the facility is continuing with their pest control program, this issue requires ongoing attention as per code 6-501.111.
On November 7, 2023, a comprehensive inspection was conducted at Norte Sur Mexican Restaurant located at 3223 Perkiomen Ave, Reading, PA 19606, revealing several violations that require attention. Firstly, a scoop was found being stored in the ice by the soda dispenser with the handle touching and/or buried beneath the ice, a violation of code 3-304.12. The issue was promptly corrected. Additionally, a temperature measuring device for ensuring the proper temperature of equipment was not available or readily accessible in the refrigerator by the ice machine and in the walk-in cooler, as required by code 4-204.112. Furthermore, the food facility lacked available sanitizer test strips or a test kit to determine the appropriate sanitizer concentration for the sanitizer at the 3-bay sink, a violation of code 4-302.14. Clean food equipment and/or utensils above the 3-bay sink were observed to be stored wet in a manner that does not allow for draining and/or air drying (wet nesting), violating code 4-903.11 (A-B)(D). Additionally, the door located in the back of the food facility had a gap at the bottom right corner, failing to properly protect against the entry of pests, a violation of code 6-202.15. Evidence of rodent activity was indicated around the 3-bay sink and under shelving in the kitchen during the food facility inspection, and while the facility is continuing with their pest control program, ongoing attention is required, as per code 6-501.111. Lastly, working containers in the bar area used for storing sanitizing chemicals taken from bulk supplies were not marked with the common name of the chemical, a violation of code 7-102.11.
On November 6, 2023, a comprehensive inspection was conducted at Mikura Restaurant located at 840 N Park Rd, Wyomissing, PA 19610, revealing several violations that require attention. Firstly, some open food products were observed still being stored in the hibachi area of the facility, a violation of code 3-101.11. The owner promptly disposed of all remaining open food items during the inspection. Additionally, there was a hole in the floor/corner of the walk-in cooler (to the left of the door), as noted in code 4-501.11. The owner covered the hole with a thick rubber material during the inspection. Furthermore, kitchen items were temporarily moved to the hibachi area for thorough cleaning, and it was acknowledged that the hibachi area will need cleaning after the kitchen items are moved back to their designated areas for food preparation/storage. The sides of some equipment at the cooking line still had an accumulation of grease, and an employee initiated cleaning these hard-to-reach areas during the inspection, addressing code 4-601.11(B-C). Lastly, the back door located in the dishwashing area had a gap at the bottom, failing to protect against the entry of insects, rodents, and other pests. The owner installed a piece of thick rubber material along the bottom of the door during the inspection, addressing code 6-202.15.
Restaurant inspections provide a momentary glimpse into the operational and sanitary practices of food establishments, acting as a crucial mechanism to ensure public safety. It’s important to recognize that these inspections capture a specific snapshot of the day and time they occur. This snapshot may not comprehensively reflect the long-term cleanliness of an establishment. Inspections are conducted by health departments, covering various aspects from food handling to facility hygiene. While violations are documented during the inspection, it’s common for corrective actions to be taken on-site before the inspector departs. This acknowledgment underscores the dynamic nature of the inspection process, emphasizing the commitment of establishments to promptly address and rectify any identified issues, contributing to the ongoing maintenance of a safe and sanitary environment.