Restaurant Inspections – April 2011

I’m pleased to see so many journalists and blogs reporting on Fulton’s new restaurant inspection system. I see the AJC printing this stuff now in addition to most of the local Patch editors. This is a good thing.

At the same time, the rules for inspections have become much more stringent. The fact that this happened when inspections become more transparent makes life difficult for restaurant managers. I see a lot of places getting dinged for new infractions like not labeling food or storing food on the floor. A lot of clean restaurants are getting low scores. On April 8th Atlanta’s Flip Burger Boutique received a 69 grade, just a bit into the failed category.Certainly an embarrassment to celebrity chef Richard Blais (who just won Top Chef All Stars). They were graded down for things like dented cans (minus 9 points). I see nothing on their report that would indicate that the place is unsafe to eat.

Where do we go from here? I think it is important to read the full inspection and decide for yourself. Give some of these places the benefit of the doubt until they can fully digest the new rules. At the same time, there are some truly filthy restaurants out there.

I’m only covering restaurants that earned a U rating this time. On to my report!

Alpha Soda

11760 Haynes Bridge Road, Alpharetta

Grade: 52 – U on Feb 25, 2011

I almost wrote an entire post on this inspection. Then I remembered my pledge to not make any editorial comments and just post facts. So let me mention these facts about Alpha Soda before I print their failed inspection. Their inspection in February was the result of a complaint. They received a follow up inspection on March 3rd and scored a 91 – A. During that followup they were dinged for not having their 52 – U inspection posted. And the final fact… My family and I will never, ever eat at Alpha Soda again. Just the facts!

  • Onsite staff personnel was not able to answer food safety questions nor demonstrate knowledge on proper food safety.
  • Observed employee rinsing his hands under hot water-soap was not used.
  • Observed server placing bread directly into the bread basket from the hot drawer.
  • Observed cook touching meatloaf directly out of the warmer with his bare hands.
  • Observed green coke cup on the prep table without a lid and a straw.
  • Provide papertowels for the bar handsink.
  • Observed heavy black grease dripping from all 4 hood vents.
  • Observed ice machine with pink and black debris.
  • Coleslaw, cucumber tomatoe salad, tomatoes at the grill are all out of temperature
  • Observed dates missing from food items-deli meat, bacon, gyro meat, dressings, salad mixtures, raw beef, and porkchops.
  • Observed food labels missing from food located in WIC, WIF, and RICs.
  • Observed employee wiping his face and blowing nose with bottom his apron.
  • Observed wiping cloths on the counters (all surfaces).
  • Observed ice cream scoop in dirty standing water on the counter.
  • Observed single services items with debris in them.
  • Observed heavy debris hanging from storage racks in the WICs and WIF.
  • Plates sitting in front of the slad station with heavy debris inside.
  • Observed dirty dishes in 3 of the 4 compartments of the 4 compartment sink.
  • Observed all gaskets on all 3 units with heavy debris.
  • Observed an exposed floor drain pipe in the handicapped stall.
  • Observed debris under shelving and equipment in the WIC and kitchen area.
  • Observed baby roaches crawling on the prep table with cold items (carrot raisin salad, cole slaw)
  • Observed back door on the left side propped open with a rock.
  • Observed right side back door with visible light at the bottom of the door.

China Heaven

2880 Holcomb Bridge Rd, Alpharetta

Grade: 56 – U on April 6, 2011

  • There was no soap at the the hand washing sink. And the sink was inaccessible.
  • Food found in poor condition.
  • Raw foods stored next to RTE foods.
  • Food stored uncovered.
  • Provide sanitizing buckets for facility.
  • Improper date marking.
  • Improper labeling.
  • Lacking thermometers in cold holding units.
  • Improper wiping cloth storage. Repeat Violation.
  • Items stored with plastic protective sleeves.
  • Gaskets need to to replaced. Repeat Violation.
  • Poor cleaning.
  • Light needs to be replaced in dry storage area.

Lobster House

10890 Haynes Bridge Road, Alpharetta

Grade: 61 – U on February 11, 2011 (they received a followup inspection and scored a 99-A)

  • Observed food stored in container with the button touching the food
    with protection.
  • Observed uncovered food in holding unit/dry storage area.
  • Observed buildup of slime in the interior of ice machine.
  • Potentially hazardous food not held at 135 degrees Fahrenheit or above.
  • No consistant date marking procedure.
  • Establishment not maintaining shellstock tags for 90 days.
  • No conspicuously located thermometer in holding unit.
  • Wet wiping cloth not stored in sanitizing solution between uses.
  • No Heimlich maneuver sign posted.
  • Areas that previously required the posting of a smoking sign have not posted a smoking not permitted sign.
  • Observed single-service articles stored without protection from contamination.
  • Observed equipment in poor repair.
  • Observed accumulation of debris in warewashing machine and associated equipment.
  • Observed soiled reach-in cooler gaskets.
  • Ventilation inadequate as evidenced by excessive steam, vapors in kitchen.


6085 North Point Parkway, Alpharetta

Grade: 63 – U on March 23, 2011 (they received a followup inspection and scored a 97 – A)

  • Handsinks were missing hand drying provisions.
  • Uncovered food items.
  • Tomatoes out of temp.
  • Food items were consistently found without dates.
  • Chemical concentrations for sanitizer in both sink & buckets were to low.
  • Cold holding units didn’t have individual thermometers. Repeat Violation.
  • Mold. Repeat Violation.
  • Provide scoops
  • Utensils were being stored under contamination.
  • Contamination
  • Observed torn walk-in cooler gaskets. Repeat Violation.
  • Personal items in food prep area.

Emory Johns Creek Hospital

6325 West Johns Creek Crossing, Johns Creek

Grade: 73 – C on March 25, 2011 (they received a followup inspection and scored a 96 – A)

I said I would only include those earning U ratings. Oops. Some might want to hold hospitals to higher standards.

  • Hands not properly cleaned before putting on gloves.
  • Bare hand food contact for RTE foods.
  • Not accessible
  • Mold found in soda dispensers.
  • improper sanitizer usage.
  • Improper storage Repeat Violation.
  • Improper test strips.
  • Unclean single-use container holders.
  • Personal items in food areas.

4 Responses to “Restaurant Inspections – April 2011”

  1. Mike April 15, 2011 at 6:27 pm #

    Alpha Soda? Wow, we eat there sometimes. Had no idea it was so bad. We won’t be going back. Too bad.

  2. Greg April 16, 2011 at 10:04 am #

    We stopped eating at Alpha Soda a long time ago because the food wasn’t very good. It’s sad that such a great Alpharetta institution is going to waste.

  3. Kim April 16, 2011 at 8:26 pm #

    Ewwwww. We also stopped eating at Alpha Soda a long time ago. Looks like we don’t need to start again.

  4. A April 18, 2011 at 9:15 am #

    We tried Alpha Soda just once a few years ago when they had a coupon deal, and suffice it to say we were not impressed and have never been back. Can’t figure out why their lot is always full on weekends when there are far better choices out there.

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