Ever wonder if the restaurant you are eating at abides by health regulations?
Lexington Patch has launched a new feature in which it will provide details on Lexington's restaurant inspection reports. The reports are public record and if inspectors find issues, they follow up with future re-inspections to assure the issue is resolved. If the Board of Health finds repeated problems, it can call them for a hearing with the board.
Lexington Health Director Gerard Cody said establishments are broken into three groups and the number of annual inspections depends upon that category. The 'low risk' business include those that sell pre-packaged food and items such as candy bars and are inspected once per year. The 'medium risk' group includes places like coffee shops, pizza joints and sandwich shops and are inspected twice annually. The 'high risk' group includes restaurants that serve higher-risk food such as Sushi and are inspected three to four times per year.
Cody also said the health inspection reports should not be viewed as a denouncement of any restaurant. They are a snapshot in time when the inspection was done and the restaurants are then required to remedy any issues and often work with the health department to do so.
"We are a resource for the restaurants," he said. "I like to view this as a partnership."
If an extreme violation is found, Cody said, a restaurant will be forced to close immediately until it is fixed.
Here are the results of the August, 2013, inspection report, the most recent available:
Dunkin Donuts, 10 Woburn Street: Violations include improper use of the hand sink, sanitizer concentration at 0ppm and employees could not answer basic food safety questions.
McDonalds/Honey Dew Donuts: Inspectors found that the dish machine water temperature was too low, sanitizer in bucket tested at 0ppm and improper use of hand sink.
Vine Brook Tavern: Inspectors fund that the water temperature in the dish machine was too low, food cold holding temperatures win the pizza area were too high and food was removed. The hand sink was not stocked with soap and paper towels and the kitchen needed cleaning.
Via Lago: Inspectors found the downstair main kitchen and catering food prep areas had violations, including improper storage of ready-to-eat food, improper cooling of food, food contact items not being cleaned property and no hot water in the kitchen hand sink. There was also no soap in the men's room.
Lemon Grass: During an inspection it was found that a bar had been installed without any town department's knowledge. The Selectman's Office was notified and the bar was shut down pending proper permits and plan approval by the Health Department.