HANFORD — While there may have been more food safety stars in 2017 than the previous year, there were still several failures last year.
Out of the 999 inspections the Kings County Health Department’s Division of Environmental Health Services conducted, eight places in Kings County that sell food failed at least one food safety inspection in 2017:
- Asadero’s Mexican Food Seafood – Kettleman City
- City of Avenal Recreation Center
- Country Waffles – Lemoore
- Freeze Style Frozen Yogurt – Hanford
- La Esquinaita Mi Pueblo Taqueria #2 – Armona
- Little Caesars Pizza – 1854 W. Lacey Blvd. in Hanford
- M & A Market – Stratford
- Shorty's Bar (closed) – Hanford
Jeff Taber, deputy health director of Environmental Health Services, said the department tries to inspect every food-selling establishment at least twice a year. Many of the establishments inspected were cafeterias in schools, prisons, rest homes and other institutional settings.
Most establishments pass with few to no minor violations, while others get marked for “needs improvement” due to several minor violations.
A minor violation can include cracked floor tiles or lack of paper towels in the restroom.
According to the Kings County Health Department’s Division of Environmental Health Services, 703 places received a passing grade while 288 places were stamped with “needs improvement.”
Getting a failing grade means they likely had more than one critical violation and may have been repeat violators. Taber said these establishments get re-inspected more often than other places.
Taber said the department checks for critical violations based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s most common risk factors for food-borne illness, which include:
- Improper hot/cold holding temperatures of potentially hazardous food
- Improper cooking temperatures of food
- Dirty and/or contaminated utensils and equipment
- Poor employee health and hygiene
- Food from unsafe sources
Receiving a failing grade on one inspection does not mean the establishment failed for the entire year; the establishments have the chance to correct their mistakes before the inspector returns.
In the case of Freeze Style Frozen Yogurt in Hanford, there was no hot water available in the facility when the inspector visited on April 10, 2017, garnering the “fail” grade.
When the inspector returned the next day, the issue was corrected and the inspector noted no other violations and gave a “pass” grade. The facility passed again when it was inspected in October 2017.
When Little Caesars Pizza at 1854 Lacey Blvd. was inspected on May 30, 2017, the inspector noted several violations, including flies inside the building, the handwashing station contained food debris, the trash had not been taken out and all the equipment had food debris and dirt or dust.
The inspector returned a week later on June 7 and gave the facility a “needs Improvement” grade, stating the place needed more cleaning and sanitizing. The next day, the inspector gave the pizza place a “pass” grade and said it was cleaner than the previous visit.
The owner of this Little Caesars Pizza location could not be reached for comment.
Copies of all recent food facility inspection reports can be obtained at countyofkings.com/departments/environment-health-service/online-inspection-reports/hanford or by contacting the Kings County Health Department’s Division of Environmental Health Services at 584-1411.