Critical violations found at 2 Knoxville area restaurants

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Two Knoxville-area restaurants scored low health inspection reports. Employee hygiene and out-of-date food lowered the grades.

Some of the critical health violations found this week could lead to food borne illness if not corrected. Health inspectors are paying close attention to food preparation practices so no one gets ill.

LaCabana Cuban Flavor, 723 Campbell Station Road – Grade: 81 New Grade: 96

The lowest grade is an 81 at LaCabana Cuban Flavor restaurant. That’s a passing grade. Below 70 is considered unsanitary by the health department.

The inspector watched the cook wipe his hands on a dirty apron, then continue to prepare food without washing his hands first.

Also, there were no towels at the kitchen hand sink. Drip-drying of the hands is not allowed at restaurants; there have to be towels for proper drying.

At LaCabana some prepared foods were found without date marks on them. If food is held over for 24 hours in the refrigerator, it must have a date mark and be used within seven days of first use to fight listeria, which is a form of bacteria.

Also, other food was found in use where the date mark had expired. That food should have been thrown away.

Now, LaCabana has been re-inspected, the old grade of 81 has been upgraded to a respectable, 96.

Penn Station East Coast Subs, 4909 Broadway – Grade: 82

Next lowest grade was an 82 at Penn Station East Coast Subs in Fountain City. That 82 is a passing score.

At Penn Station Subs the inspector found raw food stored over ready-to-eat food. You might do that at home in your refrigerator, but at restaurants raw-food must be kept separate, to prevent the potential for cross-contamination.

Also, raw chicken had been placed on a scale where other food was also weighed. Bacteria filled raw food and ready-to-eat foods are not supposed to be together.

At Penn Station, the inspector writes a sink had not been cleaned and sanitized, as required, before pots and pans were prepared for washing. Finally, an unlabeled chemical bottle was found. All cleaning agents are supposed to be labeled so there are no surprises

This restaurant will be re-inspected soon.

Web Extra: This week’s full inspection reports [PDF]

No re-inspections will be needed at the high scoring restaurants.

Top scores of the week:

  • Drake’s Knoxville, 424 Morrell Road – Grade: 100
  • Five Guys Burgers, 2032 Town Center Boulivard – Grade: 100
  • Five Guys Burgers, 234 Brookview Center Way – Grade: 100
  • Lenny’s Sub Shop, 150 Lovell Road – Grade: 100
  • Starbucks, 401 Emory Road – Grade: 100
  • Burger King, 7206 Region Lane – Grade: 100
  • Burger King, 2806 Broadway – Grade: 100
  • Krystal, 7215 Strawberry Plains Pike – Grade: 100
  • The Empty Cup, 9111 Executive Park Drive – Grade: 100
  • Order Up, 800 S. Gay Street – Grade: 99
  • Fleming’s Steakhouse, 11287 Parkside Drive – Grade: 98
  • Taco Bell, 7215 Strawberry Plains Pike – Grade: 98

Many of those high scoring restaurants serve lots of people every day and those grades are terrific.

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