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Applebee’s in Lawrence fouls restaurant inspection; handling lime wedges with bare hands, improper hand washing by the cook

Applebee’s in Lawrence fouls restaurant inspection; handling lime wedges with bare hands, improper hand washing by the cook

By: Robert Dewey | [email protected]

Lawrence, KS

Applebee’s Grill and Bar

2520 S IOWA ST

The Kansas of Agriculture’s Bureau of Food Safety and Laboratory Services conducted an unannounced retail food inspection on January 15, 2020. As a result of that inspection, and due to the severity of the specific violations the Applebee’s Grill and Bar was cited as being, “Out of Compliance” with Kansas food safety regulations. During this inspection a total of 6 violations were found.

The inspector made the following comments in support of the violations found during the inspection:

  • Employee at the bar was seen handling a lime wedge, to be placed in a beverage, with bare hands. COS: Educated to employee and PIC brought him tongs to use. Lime wedge discarded.
  • The cook, while wearing gloves, was seen using a single use food bag as a barrier to handle a raw burger patty at the grill. He then discarded the food bag and continued to handle a clean dish for plating without changing gloves and washing hands. COS: Educated to cook and PIC about glove uses and limitations when going from raw to RTE. Inspectors clarified to PIC about FE’s procedure stating that using a burger bag is an acceptable alternative to using gloves or bare hands. The clarification was food handlers may not use burger bags in addition to using gloves without having to change gloves and wash hands. Hands washed and gloves changed.
  • In a make table cooler at the cook line, an uncovered 1/3 metal pan containing portioned bags of cooked green beans was stored in an ice bath. The pan was sitting above the ice, causing two portions of cooked green beans at the top of the pan to temp at 48F and 52F. Inspector suggested that the pan should be submerged and should only fill the pans up to the top of the ice bath. PIC said she transferred the green beans from the WIC to ice bath at 9 am. Temp was taken at 11:50 am. Ambient air temp in kitchen at 77F. COS: Moved out of temp green beans to cooler for rapid cooling. PIC submerged pan into ice. Inspector also suggested to keep a lid on pan to keep cooler ambient air within the pan.
  • Six plastic containers, stored as clean, were found with severe pitting and/or cracks on the food contact surfaces. COS: Discarded.
  • At the mop sink, a wye valve is connected to the faucet and is downstream from the AVB (atmospheric vacuum breaker). The AVB was at constant pressure during time of inspection. Inspector suggested to PIC to install a vented tee before the wye valve as a solution. COS: PIC removed wye valve and plans to have a vented tee installed to utilize the wye again.
  • A working spray bottle containing a tan chemical was stored under the mechanical dish machine without a label. PIC said it was degreaser. COS: Labeled with sharpie.

Abbreviations used by inspectors:

AVB- An Atmospheric Vacuum Breaker (AVB) is a backflow prevention device used in plumbing to prevent backflow of non-potable liquids into the drinking water system
BOH- Back of the House
CFSM- Certified Food Safety Manager
COS- Corrected on-site during inspection
FCS- Food contact surface
PIC- Person-in-charge
PHF- Potentially Hazardous Foods
RIC- Reach in cooler
RTE- Ready to Eat
WIC- Walk-in cooler