KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The inspector noted quite a few critical violations at a popular seafood restaurant in downtown Knoxville.

The grade was a 65 at The Brass Pearl at 24 Market Square in Knoxville. That 65 is a failing score as a grade of 69 and below is considered failing.

The Brass Pearl, 24 Market Square, Knoxville — Grade: 65, Follow-up Grade: 94

When the inspector checked, oyster tags were not marked with the date of when the last oyster was sold. However, marking the date down is required by the FDA. Additionally, restaurants that serve oysters must keep the tags or labels for 90 days after the date is recorded. These tags indicate when and where the shellfish were harvested, in case the food needs to be traced back.

Also, dead and live mussels were found commingling in the preparation cooler. Being together in the same cool container could possibly cause foodborne illness because dead mussels carry bacteria.

The inspector watched an employee push trash down in the garbage container, but he did not wash his hands and put on gloves as he continued working in the kitchen

Food temperatures were off at the Brass Pearl. Mashed potatoes were at 118 degrees in the warmer, but 135 and above is the required hot temperature. Also, blue point oysters were at 55 degrees in the oyster cooler, but 41 and below is the safe cool temperature to slow bacteria growth.

The inspector returned to the Brass Pearl. The health department said it is working closely with restaurant management and employees, so they fully understand the regulations and record-keeping with their shell stock. During the follow-up, all the critical violations were checked and all were corrected. The original grade of 65 has been upgraded to 94.

Top Scores of the Week

  • Harvest, 141 S. Gay St, Knoxville — 100
  • The Lunchbox, 607 Market St, Knoxville — 100
  • Little White House, 6605 Ruggles Ferry Pk, Knoxville — 100
  • Two Doors Down, 118 E. Broadway Ave, Maryville — 100
  • Mccalister’s, 2293 N. Main St, Crossville — 100
  • Cracker Barrel, 1501 Cracker Barrel Ln, Knoxville — 99
  • Wendy’s, 2544 Decatur Pk, Athens — 99
  • Metro Pizza, 1084 Hunters Crossing Dr, Alcoa — 99

If you notice a problem while eating out, politely let the manager know. You can also inform your health department. Complaints are taken seriously.