Ann Arbor, MI

These Ann Arbor restaurants had the lowest health inspection ratings last month

City Observer

The Health Department of Washtenaw County conducts routine inspections on every food facility in the county.

These inspections assure that food facilities are following safe food handling practices. In addition, the county inspectors want to ensure that safeguards are in place to protect the food from contamination and consumers from foodborne illness.

I just read inspection reports for three restaurants that show a lot of safety violations that can make consumers sick.

Los Amigos Fiesta

The last inspection of Los Amigos Fiesta at 4855 Washtenaw Ave revealed seven critical violations.

The restaurant dishwasher machine didn't have the proper chlorine concentration to sanitize dishes and silverware. So, the inspector asked the facility to stop using the dishwasher machine and use the 3-compartment sink to wash, rinse and sanitize.

The county inspector discovered that many food items in the walk-in cooler had been stored for longer than seven days, and the cooler was not maintaining food temperature under 41F. This violates county and the FDA rules. The FDA states, "The longer food items are stored in the refrigerator, the more chance Listeria, a bacterium that causes foodborne illness, can grow, especially if the refrigerator temperature is above 40°F."

The inspector also warned the manager that the restaurant should be cleaned immediately, and the employees should be better trained to keep the restaurant clean and the food safe.

Zamaan Cafe

Leo's Coney Island, located at 3580 Plymouth Road, had seven violations.

The first violation that the inspector noticed was that the restaurant wasn't clean. The inspector stated, "The floor and other food contact surfaces shall be cleaned thoroughly on a more frequent schedule."

In the walk-in cooler, the food wasn't kept under 41F, violating food safety rules. Employees also stored broken equipment in the facility, ignoring the 3Rs rule: repair, replace, or remove broken equipment immediately.

More violations need to be corrected including, damaged kitchen floor, restrooms, and others.

Leo's Coney Island

Leo's Coney Island, located at 2693 Preston Road, also had six violations.

There are five rules in food safety that every manager should remember.

  • Keep hot food above 135F.
  • Keep cold food under 41F.
  • Keep the restaurants clean.
  • Buy food from safe sources.
  • Wash your hands.

Leo's Coney Island management forgot some of these rules. For example, food items weren't kept above 135F, which encouraged the growth of bacteria. The Chili container was held at 100F, and it wasn't covered, so it wasn't protected from biological or physical contamination.

On the other side of the kitchen, some employees weren't using hair restraints and drinking from open cups while preparing food, exposing the food to more contaminants.

In my experience, these bad reports could result from bad timing or incompetent employees making mistakes that experienced individuals won't make. However, the restaurant manager's responsibility is to ensure the restaurant is clean and safe.

The reports generated by these inspections are available online so consumers can make educated choices about where to eat.

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