The Crossroads and Freshens both incurred “critical” violations during their health inspections Nov. 29 due to food temperatures that were not up to code.
The manual inspection lasted six hours Thursday.
The official report states that the Crossroads and Freshens violated Idaho Food Code IDAPA 16.02.19.350.06, which states that potentially hazardous foods be kept at or above 135 F, except roasts, which fall under a different code.
When potentially hazardous foods are being chilled, they need to be kept at 41 F or less for a maximum of 7 days or between 45 F and 41 F for a maximum of 4 days to stay up to code
There will be a follow-up inspection Dec. 5 to determine if the areas with violations have met code. The next step will be determined by the outcome of that inspection.
“Potentially, they could close us down, but I’ve never had that happen in my 25 years of experience,” said Todd Huchendorf, Food Services general manager. “Obviously they have a concern for the public, and so do we.”
Idaho has a “three-strikes-and-you’re-out” policy when it comes to “critical” violations said Nathan Taylor an employee of the Environmental Health division of the Eastern Idaho Public Health District.
“We see quite a few critical [violations],” Taylor said. “Most of them are corrected on site. If they’re not, then we give them a few days to make corrections.”
Huchendorf said that Food Services is using this as an opportunity to analyze its processes and see what it can improve.
Huchendorf said he is serious about finding where the breakdown in Food Services’ system is and fixing it.
In order to address the issues at hand, Food Services hired a student employee for the five days leading up to the second inspection whose sole job is to take temperatures during the day.
As a part of its regular process, Food Services checks temperatures daily with regularly calibrated thermometers at each food station, at the end of the dishwasher cycle and in all 47 of the refrigerators at the Crossroads.
The salad bar in the Crossroads, Huchendorf said, is one area where temperature is more difficult to control because of the delicate nature of the lettuce and how easily it freezes.
“With the salad bar, we’re considering switching to metal containers instead of plastic. It’s not as attractive, but we want to make any changes that are necessary,” Huchendorf said.
Inspectors come three to four times a year.
Food Services also has a third-party auditor that does surprise inspections.
Although Food Services has never failed an inspection, according to Eastern Idaho Public Health District’s online records, this is not the first time it has been cited.
On both Jan. 14, 2011 and Nov. 30, 2011 the Crossroads was reported to have two critical violations, which were corrected on site.
Freshens was reported to have one critical violation during its Jan. 21 2011 and Nov. 30, 2011 inspections, also corrected on site.
UPDATE: According to a food establishment inspection report by the Eastern Idaho Public Health District, the Crossroads passed their follow-up inspection.