Restaurant Report Card Jan. 9, 2011

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By Mike Snuffer
By Emily Finnegan

WSIL -- There are hundreds of places to eat in southern Illinois and News 3 is taking a closer look at what's going on in the kitchen when you sit down for your favorite meal.

The first installment of our Restaurant Report Card examines the health inspection reports on five restaurants in Carbondale.

Super Buffet in Carbondale has been struggling to pass its health inspections for several months. The restaurant is listed as Eastern Buffet on its official paperwork, and received a score of 60 in November, the lowest marks in Jackson County that month.

Inspectors temporarily shut Super Buffet down after recording more than 30 violations, both repeated and new problems. The report indicates there was no hot water in the restaurant at night and inspectors discovered a cockroach infestation in several locations including by the slicer, in the dish machine and in boxes of cookies.

Super Buffet was also cited for unsafe food handling practices; rice was found being stored with raw meat and one utensil was used on all the meat on the cook line. And the inspector discovered poor hygienic practices among employees, noting "nobody washed their hands."

Super Buffet corrected some of those issues and their food service permit was reinstated the next day, but the facility was placed on an accelerated inspection schedule. In December, it was forced to shut its doors again for many of the same issues but has since been allowed to reopen.

Earning a 70, Wendy's in Carbondale was docked three times in November for having food at the incorrect temperature. The restaurant also lost points for a cook using the same spatula on raw and cooked meat and employees not washing their hands or having proper hair restraints. Many of those problems were corrected during the inspection, and a follow-up check a week later found several more improvements had been made.

Lone Star Steakhouse received an 81 at its last inspection. That's because some food wasn't properly labeled in the cooler and the proper 3-step sanitizing station wasn't provided. Virtually all of the problems were corrected on the spot.

Denny's in Carbondale also scored an 81. Losing points for cleaning problems and slightly improper temperatures in the walk-in cooler and refrigerated drawers. Most of the fixes were made within a week.

Global Gourmet earned the best grade in Jackson County in November with a perfect 100. Reports show the restaurant had no new violations, and the inspector said they did a "very good job."

Most restaurants are inspected three times a year, except those that have violations and require follow up checks.


Click on the links below to see the food inspection reports by county. The files may take a few moments to open.

Jackson County December 2011 Inspections

Saline County December 2011 Inspections

Jefferson County December 2011 Inspections
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