KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A popular fast food restaurant had a number of critical issues that required a follow-up. The inspector found more than half a dozen violations that could cause foodborne illness.

The grade was a 70 at the Cook Out on Cumberland Avenue, near the University of Tennessee. This is a passing score, as a grade of 69 and below is considered failing.

Cook Out, 2135 Cumberland Ave, Knoxville — Grade: 70, Follow-up: 95

The inspector wrote that he observed several employees, including the manager, not washing their hands before handling food. Hand washing is required to prevent the possibility of foodborne illness.

In the walk-in cooler, the inspector found water leaking from the air vent onto food and some of the water had puddled up on the food. Also, the temperature in the cooler, or refrigerator, was at 50. However, 41 and below is the correct cool temperature to slow bacteria growth.

Flies and gnats were found throughout the kitchen and restaurant, but bacteria-carrying bugs are not allowed. The inspector also wrote there was a build-up of food debris and “scum” in the dining area and kitchen.

Finally, the inspector wrote that the person in charge, the manager, lacked managerial control due to so many critical violations.

The inspector returned to the Cook Out on Cumberland Avenue. All the critical violations were checked and all were corrected. The original grade of 70 has been upgraded to 95.

Top Scores of the Week

  • Habaneros Mexican, 4620 Greenway Dr, Knoxville — 100
  • Woods Family Diner, 327 N. Tennessee Ave, Etowah — 100
  • Pelancho’s Mexican, 1516 Downtown West Blvd, Knoxville — 99
  • Lee’s Fusion Cafe, 2528 Mcgill St, Pigeon Forge — 99
  • Chick-fil-A, 1009 Highway 321 N, Lenoir City — 98
  • Waffle House, 1921 E. Lamar Alexander Blvd, Maryville — 98
  • Alamo Steakhouse, 705 E. Parkway, Gatlinburg — 97
  • Toro’s Mexican Grill, 2550 E. Morris Blvd, Morristown — 97

Restaurant health inspections represent a snapshot of conditions at the time of the inspection. If you notice a problem, let the manager know.