Moldy tomatoes, hand washing issues lead to failing grade
One popular fast-food restaurant failed and a couple of others brought in notably low scores.
Several Hamilton County restaurants posted high scores in this week's health inspections, but inspectors had to come down hard on a few others. One restaurant failed and a couple of others brought in notably low scores. Anything lower than a 70 is a failing grade.
The McDonald's on Taft Highway in Signal Mountain scored a 58. The inspector found moldy cherry tomatoes stored in the walk-in coolers and several items stored at improper temperatures, including yogurt, shelled eggs and cut lettuce and tomatoes. The restaurant also didn't have soap or working paper towel dispensers at a hand washing sink, the inspector observed poor hand washing practices and found no sanitizer in sanitizing buckets used for cleaning. Employees also used incorrect date marking on food products and stored cleaning chemicals on shelves next to food.
The Sticky Fingers on Hamilton Place Boulevard came close to failing with a 71 and the inspector actually ordered managers to shut down until the restaurant made some critical repairs. The inspector found a sewage back-up issue in the bathrooms, discovered the walk-in coolers wouldn't hold a proper temperature and noted there was "extreme accumulation" of mold in the main ice bin. Those issues had to be fixed immediately before the restaurant could reopen.
The inspector also found mold in the soda dispensers area, several severely dented food cans, which can be an indication of spoiled food, and an open can of food with mold inside.
The inspector threw out potato salad and sour cream that tested at incorrect temperatures and found a knife stored in a container of cut lemons.
The Subway on Taft Highway in Signal Mountain scored a 77. The inspector noted an employee used their hands to touch their eyes, then continued to make a sandwich without changing gloves. Employees were also cautioned to use gloves when handling ready-to-eat foods.
We have an update for you on last week's failing grade. China Lee on Dayton Boulevard originally scored a 56, but brought their score up to an 87 during a follow-up inspection.
Several restaurants, food trucks and catering businesses scored a perfect score of 100. Congratulations to Taqueria Jalisciense, Lockhart's Catering Mobile, Adelle's Ice Cream Creperie, Cindy's Custom Cakes, Spill the Beans, Miss Griffin's Kitchen Engine, Lupis Mobile and Gipsy Gourmet.
If you have a complaint about a pool, restaurant, health care facility, day care or gym, call the Hamilton County Health Department Hot Line at (423) 209-8110. Someone will personally handle your complaint weekdays between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.