Dirty Restaurant

By: Susan Bahorich
By: Susan Bahorich

When it comes to restaurants, the health department's Mac McMahan has seen just about everything.

And on this day he's taking the TV3 cameras along to show you what he's looking for.

"I think the Health Department role is to help operators achieve compliance with regulations and regulations are there to help them provide a safe product to patrons," says the health department's Mac McMahan.

The employees at the Heavenly Ham in Harrisonburg are expecting us. While this is not an actual inspection, McMahan holds nothing back.

From straws to condiments everything seems to be in place.

Bathrooms clean, doors hinged and towels at the ready.

From covers over lights, to the posting of permits, everything has its place.

"The code actually requires posting these to public view," say McMahan.

And that's the case in every restaurant.

Here in the Valley, every restaurant has a file. So we put four-different types of eateries to the test.

At fast food giant, McDonald's, inspectors found no towels or soap at an employee hand sink in the kitchen.

Employee cups at Kyoto didn't have lids or straws, and a refrigerator which was suppose to be set at 45-degrees, tested at 47.

At Ciro's inspectors requested molding be replaced in the corners and found ready to eat veggies below fish and meat in a refrigerator.

At El Charro a large container of raw chicken was held in a mop sink.

According to McMahan all of these are no-no's.

Instead of grades, the newer, friendlier health department thinks of itself as a consultant. It works with restaurants to make sure things are done right.

Whether that's behind the scenes at the sink, or behind the counter. It's done to protect the community.

The good news for customers is all the problems we've mentioned have been fixed.

This was a random sampling, but this information on any restaurant is available to the public at your local health department.

And in April, the information will be available on the Web.

50 North Main Street Harrisonburg, VA 22801 540-433-9191 - Switchboard 540-433- 4028 - Fax 540-433-2700 - News Fax

WSVF Public Inspection File

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