Chain restaurant nearly fails after cook licks his fingers

Chain restaurant nearly fails after cook licks his fingers

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  • Food for ThoughtMore>>

  • Restaurant Scores

    Restaurant Scores

    The inspection scores reported here are accurate at the time of this report. To check the latest scores, visit the Tennessee Department of Health website.
    The inspection scores reported here are accurate at the time of this report. To check the latest scores, visit the Tennessee Department of Health website.More >>
  • Don Dare

    Don Dare

    Don Dare 6 On Your Side reporter Don Dare reports on the latest restaurant inspections by the Knox County Health Department every Thursday on 6 News at 6:00.
    Each week, 6 On Your Side reporter Don Dare checks the latest restaurant inspections by the Knox County Health Department. Find out which restaurants flunked and which are the cleanest every ThursdayMore >>

By DON DARE
Food for Thought Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Something we might do at home when preparing food is lick our fingers, but cooks at restaurants can't do that.

The low-scoring restaurants this week had a lot of little things that hurt their health inspection grades. Managers have to pay attention to detail.

Lowest score:

Osaka Hibachi, 3349 Sutherland Avenue - Grade: 69

Below 70 is considered unsanitary by the health department.

The inspector found a rice scoop stored in dirty standing water between use.

In the store room, food wasn't covered. It's supposed to be to protect it from getting dirty.

A toxic chemical spray bottle was unlabeled. Workers are supposed to know what they're spraying to prevent surprises.

Finally, there was a water leak in the men's restroom. The floor was slippery. Water leaks aren't allowed at restaurants.

Other low scores:

Bojangles, 5916 Middlebrook Pike - Grade: 71

That's passing, but this restaurant has some violations.

The inspector writes a food handler had painted fingernails. She likely paid a lot of money for those nails, but fancy nails aren't allowed. You can't see what's underneath them.

When the inspector checked the hot water in the men's room, it wasn't hot enough. It's supposed to be 90 degrees to 120 degrees. 85 degrees was too cool to properly wash hands.

O'Charley's, 3050 Mall Road - Grade: 73

There were critical violations.

This is where the inspector watched the cook lick his fingers while preparing a plate of food.

It probably was tasty, but licking fingers isn't permitted.   

Other problems at this O'Charley's include a food slicer that had not been cleaned or sanitized.

Mold was also found in the ice scoop.

Cafe 4, 4 Market Square - Grade: 73

Again, that's passing, but there were problems.

The inspector found fruit flies in the kitchen.

The temperature of lobster was between 57 and 59, but 41 and below is the required safe low temperature.

And a kitchen worker didn't wash his hands before putting gloves on.

Reinspected scores:

Outback Steakhouse, 7400 Sawyer Lane - Grade: 84

The restaurant off Strawberry Plains Pike originally received a 60.

Top scores:

  • Cakery Bakery, 9116 Robinwood Lane - Grade: 99
  • Joe Muggs, 8513 Kingston Pike - Grade: 99
  • Smoothie King, 8515 Kingston Pike - Grade: 98
  • Soup Kitchen, 47 Tennessee Avenue in Oak Ridge - Grade: 96
  • Hanna's Cafe, 1901 Cumberland Avenue - Grade: 94
  • Firehouse Subs, 128 Buckingham Road - Grade: 94
  • Steak & Shake, 500 Emory Road - Grade: 93 
  • Golden Garden, 5737 Western Avenue - Grade: 93

It's good to see so many high-volume restaurants with excellent health inspection scores.

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