Restaurant Inspections: The grading system - WNCN: News, Weather

WNCN Investigates

Wake Co. restaurant inspector says grading system is 'fair'

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After a highly publicized incident involving food safety at a Florida Golden Corral, WNCN Investigates pulled inspection reports for Triangle locations of the chain, showing two Raleigh restaurants scoring an A from Wake County health inspectors, with grades above 90.

If a violation is a first-time offense, it often doesn't count toward the grade.

"They are not deducted points for it," Frances Breedlove, who oversees Wake County restaurant inspector, said Wednesday.

One could argue that an A grade could be a misleading picture of the actual condition of a restaurant during the inspection. But when asked if the grading system is strict enough, Breedlove said, "Yeah, I think it is a fair system."

When WNCN took a closer look at the detailed inspection reports for the two Raleigh locations, we found plenty of violations.

At the Golden Corral location on Capital Blvd. in Raleigh, inspectors were last there on March 12 of this year.

They say they found:

•Several items cooling improperly.

•Several hot potentially hazardous foods out of temperature on the buffet.

•Several cold items out of temperature.

•Under-cooked food.

•Managers cooking without hair restraints.

•And water not hot enough to properly clean utensils.

The next stop was the Glenwood Ave. location in Raleigh, just down the block from the company's headquarters. The restaurant was last inspected by Wake County in November 2012.

Inspectors found:

•The hand-washing sink with no soap.

•Under-cooked steaks.

And other violations.

In defense of restaurants, Breedlove said you must put the violations in perspective. For example, one under-cooked steak could be one out of a 100. And that factors into the overall grade too.

So to get a lower score, such as a B or C, one would essentially have to have multiple repeated violations.

She said if consumers want to truly know exactly how serious the violations were in an establishment's most recent inspection, they should search the detailed reports.


Jonathan Carlson

Jonathan is an investigative reporter and anchor with over a decade of experience. Jonathan has broken stories that have resulted in local and statewide change. Contact our Investigative Team anytime HERE. More>>

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