One role of the Arkansas Department of Health is to carry out a statewide inspection program for food safety to promote health, and prevent food-borne disease through food code regulations and "Good Retail Practices" in all retail food establishments. Food establishments include: fast food restaurants, full service restaurants, grocery stores, gas station food stores, convenience stores, bakeries, public and private school cafeterias, day care, bars, lounges, mobile food units, theme park concession stands and more.
Food establishments receive one or more unannounced routine inspections by an environmental health specialist (EHS). Routine inspections address safe food handling practices and sanitation. The number of inspections made is based on the risk factors of the establishment and the establishment's compliance history. The more violations (hazards) identified at a food establishment, the more inspections it will receive. Additional inspections may be conducted in response to complaints, food-borne illnesses or enforcement actions.
During an inspection, the EHS evaluate the flow of food through the facility. Specifically, how food is received and stored, how food is prepared, processed and served. The EHS also checks for pests, structural deficiencies and other related cleanliness and sanitary violations. It is important to note, that an inspection is only a "snapshot" of the practices and conditions of the food establishment at the time of the inspection.
When necessary, the Arkansas Department of Health will take action to enforce the Rules and Regulations Pertaining to Retail Food Establishments. Actions are taken when there is an immediate health risk or the operator has not responded to previous inspection recommendations. Enforcement actions may include re-inspections, temporary closures or permit suspensions.
According to Jeff Jackson, EHS, the Ash Flat office conducts inspections in Sharp, Fulton and Izard counties. Johnson says there are approximately 250 routine inspections conducted each year.
The following are the results of inspections conducted Jan. 5 through Jan. 8.
Subway of Cave City: 1102 North Main, Cave City. Date of inspection, Jan. 5, 11:20 a.m. Routine inspection. Corrective action needed: items in hot hold should be reheated to 165 degrees and held above 135 degrees; hand sink should be used for hand washing only; store onions off floor 6 inches; replace light in walk-in cooler (burnt out); clean floor of walk-in cooler -- moldy tomato, onion skins, split mayo; store bags of ice off floor of walk-in freezer 6 inches; utility sink should remain accessible and used to dispose of mop water; repair leaky faucet in three comp sink; three comp sink should be used to wash, rinse and sanitize; repair self-closing door on women's restroom.
McDonald's of Ash Flat: Hwy. 62/412, Ash Flat (Inside Walmart). Date of inspection, Jan. 5, 2:45 p.m. Complaint inspection: Complaint states they witnessed an employee leave the restroom without washing hands and return to work. Also states several employees appear to be unclean; one employee often sleeps in a van and comes to work unshowered. Also states facility does not have hot water and has not had it in over a week. Person in charge has been advised of cleanliness standards found in food code. Hot water is out at this time -- using hot water from other part of Walmart to do dishes.
Dot's Calamine Grocery: 1 Sullivan Road, Calamine. Date of inspection, Jan. 5, 10:22 a.m. Routine inspection. Corrective action needed: Children are not allowed in food prep areas; label all spray bottles; need scoop with handle for bulk dry good dispensing; do not store coffee cups (styrofoam) on towels.
Down Home Country Kitchen: 175 Hwy. 63, Hardy. Date of inspection, Jan. 6, 10:15 a.m. Routine inspection. Corrective action needed: Store wiping cloths in sanitizer when not in use; do not store towels in direct contact with food; relabel all spray bottles; label all foods prepared and stored for more than 24 hours with name and date of prep; storeroom floor needs cleaned; dry goods in rack are without lids; molasses in Ball jar are unlabeled -- must track origin; need approved scoop with handles for dry goods; several items in waitress cooler that are not from an approved source -- these items are not to be served at retail; need hand wash signs in restrooms; ash tray with ashes in them located behind counter -- Violation of Arkansas Clean Air Act.
White Oak: 500 E. Main, Hardy. Date of inspection, Jan. 6, 11 a.m. Routine inspection. Corrective action needed: clean inside pizza prep cooler; clean inside cappuccino machines.
Stevens Nutrition: 163 S. Hwy. 62, Hardy. Date of inspection, Jan. 6. Routine inspection with no violations found.
Spring River Health Connection: 9 Choctaw Center, Cherokee Village. Date of inspection, Jan. 6. Routine inspection. Corrective action needed: dried pineapple, peas, bananas, etc. cannot be sold without proper labeling -- repeat. Name of manufacturers, address, ingredients, nutritional info, weight.
Gamins Grocery: 50 Main, Oxford. Date of inspection, Jan. 7, 10:20 a.m. Routine inspection with no violations found.
Hometown Market: Hwy. 69, Melbourne. Date of inspection: Jan. 7, 11 a.m. Follow-up inspection: Critical items observed in previous inspections were corrected at the time of inspection. Some non-critical items still require attention -- correct by next routine inspection.
Hawks Nest: Hwy. 9 Spur, Melbourne. Date of inspection, Jan. 7, 11:20 a.m. Follow-up inspection: Employee drinks still missing lids and straws. All other violations observed during previous inspection have been corrected at time of inspection.
Los Aztecas: 407 Dixon, Melbourne. Date of inspection, Jan. 7. Follow-up inspection: utility sink has been installed as required by food code at time of inspection.
American Burger Center: Hwy. 69, Melbourne. Date of inspection, Jan. 7, 1:15 p.m. Follow-up inspection: Temp of walk-in cooler is at 43 degrees; cooler is existing and in compliance until April 2010. Other critical violations observed at the time of inspection have been corrected. Non-critical violations have been corrected except sealing shelves in walk-in cooler -- correct by next routine inspection.
Taylor's Jam: 2722 Fawnwood, Elizabeth. Date of inspection, Jan. 8, 10:30 a.m. Routine inspection. Corrective action needed: Need paper towels in restroom.
Viola Montessori: 9788 Hwy. 62, Viola: Date of inspection, Jan. 8, 11 a.m. Routine inspection with no violations found.