(Toledo News Now) – This week's Restaurant Ratings Report hits a few summer hot spots around the area.
First, Knotty Pine Café in west Toledo scored a clean inspection on June 13. The bar tender says communication and teamwork are key to keeping the bar violation free, saying "We all work together, we clean."
The Happy Hour Saloon on Eleanor Ave. on the other hand had two violations. Mold was found on the bar's ice machine and a beer tap was found to be dripping.
Wood County Health Department Public Information Officer Pat Snyder says a common violation for area bars involves cocktail garnishes.
"One of the more frequent problems we run into is with garnishes. The handle those with their bare hands, and that's a violation. So they really need to get into the habit of using a tong, a fork or a tooth pick to handle those garnishes," said Snyder.
Margaritas are a popular summer drink at Abuelo's Mexican Embassy in Maumee, but the health department says plumbing issues have caused repeat violations at the restaurant. Water, plumbing and waste and overall maintenance at the popular cantina are under review by the Health Department.
Snyder says keeping foods at the proper temperature is extremely important for restaurants.
"Pay attention to your temperatures if you do have food. Make sure that things are kept properly either hot or cold and make sure that your dishes are getting sanitized properly and stored in a clean manner," said Snyder.
Advice that could help the Steak Escape on Monroe St., which had food temperature violations this month. Inspectors found French fries and chicken breast cooling improperly. They also found that hot water was not available in the building, a health concern.
Snyder reminds customers that health department inspections offer only a snapshot into the cleanliness of a particular establishment. An inspector could have showed up on an uncharacteristically bad day for cleanliness in a restaurant, or could have missed violations which regularly occur but did not on the day of inspection. She encourages customers to take notice of cleanliness in area eateries, and communicate their feelings to management.
"That's why they're there; they're there for the consumer. So if they know the consumer is not happy, they're going to be more likely to change," said Snyder.
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