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14 inspection violations for Bella Vita Bistro with “Top Chef” in Wichita; Brown piece of detritus frozen into a piece of ice in the service area ice bin, Apple Pucker stored below hand soap dispenser

14 inspection violations for Bella Vita Bistro with “Top Chef” in Wichita; Brown piece of detritus frozen into a piece of ice in the service area ice bin, Apple Pucker stored below hand soap dispenser

By: Robert Dewey | [email protected]

Wichita, KS

Bella Vita Bistro

120 N West St #2
Wichita, KS 67203

The Kansas of Agriculture’s Bureau of Food Safety and Laboratory Services conducted an unannounced retail food inspection on January 10, 2020. As a result of that inspection, and due to the severity of the specific violations the Bella Vita Bistro was cited as being, “Out of Compliance” with Kansas food safety regulations. During this inspection a total of 14 violations were found.

The Bella Vita Bistro had it’s last “regular” inspection on August 7, 2018 which it also failed with 18 violations. A follow-up inspection conducted on August 21, 2018 found 3 violations and the restaurant passed that inspection.

The Kansas Restaurant & Hospitality Association named Bella Vita Bistro’s Chef Adrian Prud Homme their Mentor of the Year in 2016 and Chef of the Year in 2019.

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

  • There is an unknown brown piece of detritus approximately one quarter inch around frozen into a piece of ice in the service area ice bin. Corrected on site (COS): The piece of ice was discarded. In the east kitchen refrigerated prep table, a container of macaroni and cheese and a container of tomato puree are not date-marked. Person in charge (PIC) was unsure when macaroni and cheese was made and tomato puree was opened. COS: PIC discarded the macaroni and cheese and the tomato puree.
  • In the south kitchen refrigerated prep table, raw salmon is stored in back of a container of cooked crab meat individually portioned, and an open container of cooked crab salad. The salmon may drip on the cooked items as it is removed from the table. COS: PIC moved the raw salmon to the front of the table and the cooked food to the back of the table.
  • In the bar ice bin, a can of energy drink can and five cans of beer are stored inside the ice that is used for drinks. COS: Educated; employee discarded the ice from the bin.
  • On the buffet line, desserts including tiramisu and cupcake, salad, salad dressing, pasta salad, cooked potatoes, smoked salmon, butter, and garlic knots are displayed for consumer self-service without any protection from contamination. PIC said they could order dish covers to use by next Friday (the next time there will be food offered on buffet). COS: Food was discarded at the end of service.
  • In the south refrigerated prep table, raw chicken is 48F. Ambient air of the table is 40.6F and all other food in the table is in compliance. PIC said the cooler had recently been restocked (within the past hour). NOTE: The chicken is stored in the front corner of the table, next to the oven. COS: PIC placed chicken in a shallow pan and moved it to the walk in cooler (WIC) for rapid cooling. At the buffet, pasta salad is 57F, smoked salmon is 61F, tiramisu is 51F, and cooked potatoes are 53F. Potatoes and pasta salad are held on ice, but the ice does not contact the bottom of the food pans. Salmon and tiramisu are not held with any type of temperature control. PIC said food is set out each Friday at 11:00 am, and discarded at 2:00 pm. NOTE: Buffet is only offered on Fridays, per PIC. Discussed using time as a public health control (TPHC). COS: Inspector assisted PIC to set up a TPHC policy for cold buffet items.
  • In the RIC in the service area, an open gallon of milk is not date-marked. COS: Employee said milk was opened two or three days previous, so PIC date-marked the milk for three days previous.
  • In the kitchen upright reach in cooler (RIC), sliced tomatoes are date-marked 12-30-19 and cooked chicken is date-marked 12/28. COS: PIC discarded the tomatoes and chicken. In the south refrigerated prep table, cooked meatballs are date-marked 12/28. COS: PIC discarded the meatballs. In the RIC below the east refrigerated prep table, chicken stock is date-marked 1/2. In the east refrigerated prep table, cooked penne is date-marked 1/3. COS: PIC discarded the chicken stock and the penne. In the WIC, two pans of cooked meatballs are date-marked 12/28, an unknown casserole labeled “Logeg” is date-marked 1/3, a plate of salmon is date-marked 1/3, and a container of cooked noodles is date-marked 1/3. COS: PIC discarded the salmon, noodles, meatballs, and casserole.
  • Establishment is vacuum-packaging raw steak without a HACCP plan. There is one package of vacuum-packaged steak on site date-marked 12/24 (eighteen days previous). Discussed that with an approved HACCP plan, raw meat may be vacuum-packaged and held for up to fourteen days. COS: PIC discarded the vacuum-packaged steak.
  • Two plastic containers stacked and stored as clean on the clean dishes rack had cracks in their food contact surfaces. COS: PIC discarded the containers.
  • There is a kitchen sink-type spray nozzle with a pull-out hose at the mop sink faucet with no backflow prevention device installed and the end of the nozzle hangs below the flood rim of the sink basin. The hose does not retract completely, so the hose must be forced back to the intended resting place. COS: The nozzle was retracted so it hangs as intended above the basin of the sink. This is a temporary solution only. Recommend installing a permanent backflow prevention device, such as an anti-siphon vacuum breaker, or repairing/replacing the hose/spray nozzle so it operates as intended
  • At the beginning of the inspection, a bag of raw chicken is thawing in the basin of the food prep sink, which has a direct connection to the sewer system. COS: Educated; PIC placed the chicken in a colander to hold it above the sink.
  • A bottle of unknown blue liquid stored on the shelf next to the bar warewashing sink is not labeled with the name of the contents. COS: PIC identified liquid as dishsoap and labeled bottle.
  • A container of “damp-rid” (moisture-absorbing granules) is stored inside a container and in direct contact with candied sugar. The “damp-rid” is not food-safe and the granules are not prevented from spilling onto the food should the container be jostled. COS: PIC discarded the candy, and devised a better set-up using a second container to act as a barrier should the “damp-rid” spill.
  • A bottle of apple pucker is stored in the bar below the hand soap dispenser. COS: Employee moved the apple pucker to another location.

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