Fast food restaurants fail health inspections
Monday, Dec 16th 2013

Recently, a McDonald's location in Carrollton, Ga. failed a health inspection, prompting efforts to correct certain food practices as well as a follow-up visit from the Carroll County health inspector.

According to WSB-TV Atlanta, the McDonald's location near the University of West Georgia scored a 66 percent on its inspection at the end of November 2013. Previously, the store received a 94 percent, which managers proudly posted in the restaurant's window.

However, this most recent inspection found several potentially dangerous food storage practices, including over-stacked freezers and uncovered food items. Inspectors also noticed several out-of-date items stored in refrigerators, such as apples, eggs and salad.

A McDonald's spokesperson stated that the restaurant works to provide safe and wholesome food to customers and safety is employees' first priority.

"After receiving the health inspection report on Nov. 20, we quickly and thoroughly addressed and resolved the issues identified by the health department," the spokesperson said.

McDonald's is not the only well-known fast food chain to recently fail an inspection. The Napa Valley Register reported that inspectors found violations at a Jack in the Box in American Canyon, Calif., during a visit on Nov. 26. Violations included not changing gloves, not washing hands and keeping food at room temperature for too long.

Food that is not refrigerated properly can cause bacteria to grow on the items, which can lead to foodborne illnesses in those who consume them. Therefore it is important that restaurant managers and employees refrigerate food and utilize a temperature monitoring system to ensure that inventory is kept at the proper level.

Inspectors also noticed unclean surfaces and other areas in the Jack in the Box, for a total of 32 violation point deductions. A restaurant receives a failing grade when deductions total 31 points or more.

Jack in the Box spokesperson Brian Luscomb told the news source that the restaurant is in the midst of improvements after being under new management. The location was closed for "less than a day" to correct the issues and Luscomb is confident the restaurant will pass its next inspection.

Preparing for a health inspection
While proper food safety is always important in establishments that handle, prepare and serve food, it should be a prime focus before an inspection.

In addition to utilizing a temperature monitoring system to ensure food is properly refrigerated, employees should also check items often to ensure they have not passed their expiration date.

The National Restaurant Association also advises continually training managers on the most up-to-date food safety methods and making sure this information is passed down to employees. Owners can also utilize the same or similar form that an inspector uses to get a sense of what these individuals look for when checking the location. By putting themselves in the inspector's place, they can make changes or corrections where necessary.

Supervisors should also reinforce the importance of hand washing. Employees should be sure to wash their hands before and after handling food, as well as if they touch any non-food items during preparation. If workers wear gloves, the same rules apply for changing them.