Spoiled food, food temperatures lead to low Knox County health scores

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Spoiled food and food temperatures created some heartburn for two area restaurant managers this week.

Unannounced restaurant health inspections that are conducted every six months provide a snapshot of conditions at the facility on the day of the inspection, and if there is a failing score, a follow-up is usually made within two weeks.

Hibachi Grill & Buffet, 9645 Kingston Pike – Grade: 66

Boiled eggs were 54 degrees and sushi was 56 degrees, but 41 and below is required to prevent someone from getting sick. The eggs and sushi were thrown out.

The inspector found moldy tomatoes in the cooler.

Also, there were dented cans of oranges and applesauce. Dents on cans can potentially break the seal on the can and as a result spoil the contents.

Food debris was found inside one of the sinks where pots and pans are sanitized. You can’t sanitize the pots and pans if the water is dirty and filled with debris.

Sapphire, 428 S. Gay Street – Grade: 67 91

The original inspection score at Sapphire was a 67, which is considered unsanitary.

The inspector found shrimp at 50 degrees and pork at 48, but again 41 and below is the required safe temperature.

Also, employees did not wash their hands as required while handling food.

Open employee drink cups were found being stored over food. Open drink cups are supposed to be placed away from food to prevent accidents.

Sapphire has been re-inspected, and the new grade is a respectable 91.

Top Scores of the Week:

  • Tootsie Truck, mobile cart – Grade: 100
  • M&M Catering, 1039 Summerwood Road – Grade: 99
  • The Hoof, 709 Depot Avenue – Grade: 98
  • Public House, 212 West Magnolia Avenue – Grade: 98
  • Maple Grove Inn, 8800 Westland Drive – Grade: 97
  • Cozy Joe’s Cafe, 2553 Willow Point Way – Grade: 97
  • Sami’s Cafe, 9700 Kingston Pike – Grade: 97
  • Golden Garden, 5737 Western Avenue – Grade: 96

If you wonder what the health inspection grade is for your favorite restaurant, ask the manager or server where their health report is posted.  It is supposed to be placed in a conspicuous place where you can read it.

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