Ypsilanti, MI

These Ypsilanti restaurants had the lowest health inspection ratings last month

City Observer

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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. The county inspectors want to ensure that safeguards are in place to protect the food from contamination and consumers from foodborne illness.

These two restaurants in Ypsilanti had the worst inspection rating last month. Each restaurant had many violations that could make consumers sick.

China Palace

The last inspection of China Palace at 2905 Washtenaw Ave revealed ten critical violations.

As soon as the inspector walked into the facility, the inspector observed many food items such as Rice, chicken broth, ham, and other food products were kept below 135°F, violating the county and FDA regulations.

According to U.S Food Safety and Inspection Service, "keeping food below 135F allows bacteria to grow to dangerous levels that can cause illness." Bacteria grow rapidly between 40 °F and 135 °F, referred to as the "Danger Zone."

The inspector also observed chemical bottles stored above and next to ready-to-eat food. For example, Lysol bottles were stored in the wait station next to cups, straws, and silverware, which could cause accidental chemical poisoning.

Almost every shelf in the facility was dirty. Besides, dishes were stored on contaminated surfaces. The facility also had considerable physical damage and gaps in the walls that could invite insects.

Maiz Mexican Cantina

The last inspection of Maiz Mexican Cantina at 36 E. Cross Street revealed 15 critical violations.

Inspectors have a handwashing habit. They wash their hands before starting their inspection; however, when the county inspector tried to wash his hands, he noticed that men's and women's restrooms didn't have hot water, so that he couldn't clean his hands.

Dirt, grease, and oil accumulation were visible on the floor, walls, shelves, and equipment. In addition, the ice machine and three-compartment sink had noticeable mold build-up on them. Dust was spotted on every shelf, hood, and air vent.

The floor tiles, wall surfaces, and ceiling tiles were damaged, and they should be repaired to prevent further damage and eliminate gaps and crevices where roaches can hide. In addition, the kitchen staff had the back door open, which is not good because insects and rodents could come into the facility and hide behind equipment and food products.

Employees also stored broken equipment in the facility, ignoring the 3Rs rule of food safety: repair, replace, or remove broken equipment immediately.

Final thoughts

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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