APRIL 2012 Restaurant Inspections
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Restaurant Inspection Report Since Fall 2005
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To use our restaurant inspection database. Select either a restaurant and/or total violation number and click search.
You may also select "all" in either category to search through the entire listings. Source: La Crosse County Health Department

Five risk factor violations — unsafe sources, inadequate cooking, improper hold, cross-contamination and personal hygiene — account for 95 percent of food-borne illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The risk factor violations — 1 through 14 — are considered the most serious of the health violations. Good retail practice violations — 15 through 40 — are important to consider but they don't contribute to a lot of disease and illness.

  • 1 — A certified restaurant manager must supervise this facility. A Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services certificate must be posted in public view.
  • 1 — A person in charge must be present at all times to monitor employee handwashing, employee illnesses, food cooking and holding temperatures, cooling time limits, sanitizing and cross-contamination hazards.
  • 2 — Employees must not work when ill with vomiting, diarrhea, fever or other signs indicating a communicable disease. Police in place.
  • 3 — Food advisory for raw or undercooked meat, fish, sushi, eggs, must be provided in writing to customers.
  • 4 — Food from an approved source.
  • 5.1 — Food must be cooked to proper temperature and a stem thermometer used to check internal food temperatures.
  • 5.2 — Reheating. Food must be reheated to 165F.
  • 5.3 — Food must be rapidly chilled from 140F to 70 F within 2 hours. Temperature must be monitored regularly.
  • 5.4 — Food must be held at 41 F or 135 F. Food temperatures must be monitored daily.
  • 5.5 — Food must be date marked to show it is used or discarded within 7 days.
  • 5.6 — Time as control. Food must be cooked and served within four hours. A written plan must be approved.
  • 6 — Highly susceptible populations served.
  • 7 — Food must be protected from contamination by filth, insects, raw food and dirty hands.
  • 8 —Sanitizer products must be approved by the state health department.
  • 8 — Sanitizer must be used at the concentration stated on the label.
  • 8 — Sanitizer must be used after washing utensils with soap and rinsing with clear water.
  • 8 — Sanitizer concentration must be tested daily with test kit or test paper.
  • 8 —Sanitizing with hot water must be checked daily with a maximum recording thermometer or thermo tape.
  • 8 — Food contact surfaces, ice machines and ice bins must be cleaned and sanitized on a routine schedule.
  • 9 — Employees must wash hands before working with food & beverage. Hands must be washed for at least 20 seconds. Hands must be washed as often as necessary to prevent contamination of food. Cloth rags and aprons cannot be used for drying hands. Hand sanitizer does not replace handwashing.
  • 10 — Employees must not smoke or eat in the kitchen or behind the bar.
  • 11 — Employees must not handle ready to eat food with bare hands.
  • 12 — Handwash sinks must be supplied with soap and paper towels. Hand sinks must not be used for other purposes.
  • 13 —Toxic chemicals must be isolated from food, food contact surfaces and food equipment. All bottles must be labeled. Insecticides must be labeled "approved for use inside food establishments."
  • 14 — Conformance with HACCP procedures.

  • 15 — Employees must wear clean clothes and hair restraints when working with food.
  • 16 — Food honestly presented, labeled, distressed products, segregated.
  • 17 — Plant food cooked for hot holding.
  • 18 — Ice bins must not be used to store bottles or cans. Ice must be protected from contamination and food must be protected from contamination.
  • 19 — Equipment to control product temperature.
  • 20 — Proper thawing.
  • 21 —Ice must be dispensed with an ice scoop. Use of a cup or glass to scoop ice is prohibited. Food should be dispensed with proper utensil.
  • 22 — Thermometers must be provided to check cooking and holding temperature. Thermometers in all refrigerators.
  • 23 — Food contact equipment and refrigeration must comply with NSF standards for commercial use. Reuse of single service articles and recycled plastic bags is prohibited for food contact.
  • 24 — Dishwashing facilities. Designed and maintained appropriately.
  • 25 — Wiping rags must be stored in sanitizer solution when not in use.
  • 25 —Employees must change gloves as often as necessary to prevent contamination of food.
  • 26 — Employees must handle clean utensils with clean hands.
  • 26 — Ice scoops must be stored in a clean, covered container or other sanitary method.
  • 27 — Single service spoons, forks, knives must be stored with handles in an upright position — and not reused.
  • 28 — Water safe source, hot and cold, under pressure.
  • 29 — Plumbing installed, maintained and protection
  • 30 — No cross connections, back siphonage and back flow prevention.
  • 31-32 — Restrooms must be equipped with self-closing doors, signage and approved toilets — number, convenient and in good repair.
  • 33 — Sewage and wastewater.
  • 34 —Garbage containers must be covered and maintained in a sanitary condition. Adequate number and frequency of removal.
  • 35 — Floors, walls, equipment, ventilation, hoods, ceilings, lights, restrooms and dumpster areas must be kept in sanitary condition and good repair.
  • 36 — Lighting and ventilation adequate.
  • 37 —Mops, mop sinks and cleaning equipment must be used and stored so they will not contaminate food and equipment.
  • 38 — Separation from living quarters and laundry.
  • 39 — Doors and windows must remain closed or screened to prevent entry by vermin.
  • 39 — Pest control must be provided to effectively eliminate insects, rodents, birds, etc.
  • 39 —Animals are prohibited in food establishments except to assist disabled individuals.
  • 40 — Variance required for smoking food for preservation, curing, brewing and using additives for preserving and using reduced oxygen to package food.
Source: La Crosse County Health Department

You may want to consider what kind of food license a food vendor has in considering risk for food-borne illness:
S — Simple, low-risk
Food is cooked to order, not cooled and re-served. Prepackage and frozen food and preparation is limited. Potential for cross-contamination is low.
M — Moderate risk (any of the risks below)

— Contains self-service salad/food bar.
— Handles raw food.
— Seating capacity of 50 or more.
— Has drive-up or walk-up service window.
— Delivery of ready-to-eat foods comprises at least 25 percent of food sales volume.
— Service includes cooling and reheating of PHFs.
— Food is prepared in one location and then transported to another location for service.
— Uses banquet facilities.
— Food preparation is beyond the limited food preparation. Activities such as chopping, slicing, dicing, boiling, cooling, blanching or reheating occur in order for that product to be served.
C — Complex
Considered high risk if it contains five or more of the points in moderate risk category.

Source: La Crosse County Health Department

  • Is a qualified restaurant manager working there?
    Certified Restaurant Manager certificates are usually posted on a wall behind the cash register or at the main entrance. At least one employee in each restaurant must pass a food safety certification exam. Wisconsin issues a certificate good for 5 years. Certified managers are required to train employees on food safety requirements.
  • Are insects visible?
    Flies cause problems because they carry disease-causing bacteria on their bodies. Doors should be closed and windows screened. There should not be large numbers. Dead insects indicate a recent insecticide application and poor housekeeping. Cockroaches are less common but pose the same risk. Insects persist when unsanitary conditions inside or outside the restaurant go unattended.
  • Do employees wear clean clothes, hats and aprons?
    All employees should be wearing clean clothes. Dirty clothes are a sign of wiping dirty hands. Managers should be observing employees and telling them what is expected. Hats and hair nets keep hair out of the customers' mouth, but hair doesn't cause foodborne illness.
  • Are restrooms neat, clean and in good repair?
    One customer may create a biological disaster in seconds, but employees should be checking restroom sanitary conditions frequently. Fixtures should be clean, free of mineral deposits and in working order. Toilets should flush, sinks should drain and ceiling fans should be moving air out. Lack of soap and paper towels indicate inadequate staffing, training and supervision. Worse yet, employees may not be washing hands and then touching food.
  • Do employees wash hands?
    Handwashing is the most important food safety factor and the most ignored. Employees handling soiled objects such as dirty plates, booster seats and wiping cloths must wash hands prior to serving food and drink or handling clean utensils. Fingers should not be placed on utensil surfaces that come in contact with the mouth. Employees should handle ready-to-eat food with tongs, spoons, tissues or disposable gloves. Beware, dirty gloves are no better than dirty hands.
Source: La Crosse County Health Department
  • 1. Potentially hazardous food such as meat and dairy is held at 41 degrees F or less during delivery, storage and preparation to prevent bacterial growth.
  • 2. Ill employees are sent home after coming to work with fever, vomiting or diarrhea. About 30 percent of foodborne illness outbreaks are caused by ill workers.
  • 3. Yesterday's chili is rapidly chilled to 70 degrees F within 2 hours and then to 41 degrees F within the next 4 hours to prevent bacterial growth.
  • 4. Food left behind by a patron is not reserved for another customer.
  • 5. The cook uses a thermometer to check your chicken breast to make sure the interior reached 165 F to kill salmonella bacteria.
  • 6. The same cook has two spatulas, one for raw, one for cooked, to prevent cross contamination of your food.
  • 7. The dishwasher works and destroys bacteria and viruses on utensils with its sanitizing rinse cycle.
Source: La Crosse County Health Department