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Temp It, Temp It!  Internal Temperatures Required
 for Certain Cooked Foods

By Rick Allen, Ocala Star-Banner, Fla.
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News

Aug. 29, 2004 - Mom always told us to make sure the pork and chicken are thoroughly cooked "or you'll get sick!" Some added ". . . and die!" for emphasis, but not all.

Would Mom steer us wrong? Absolutely not.

According to food safety experts, pathogens that cause foodborne illnesses aren't killed until the internal temperature of certain foods are reached and hold for at least 15 seconds. The temperatures are different for different foods.

"Most people don't think it's important, but it can kill you," says Nancy Gal, nutrition and food safety agent for the Marion County Extension Service. She deals both with home and commercial operations.

Actually, Gal says, we're more lax about cooking temperatures at home than in restaurant kitchens. The solution is a simple food thermometer, available for only a few dollars at stores or a restaurant supply house.

Culinary students -- future restaurateurs -- are taught "Temp it, temp it, temp it" until they repeat it in their sleep. It's one reason you usually see chefs and other line help with a thermometer sticking out of a small pocket on the sleeve of their cooking garb.

The internal temperatures required for commercial kitchens are just as valid at home, Gal says.

The temperatures are: 165 F for all poultry, stuffing and dishes including previously cooked potentially hazardous foods; 155 F for ground meats like beef, pork and fish, also for injected meats like ham or flavor-enhanced roasts; 145 F for pork, beef, veal and lamb pieces like steaks and chops. If eggs are going to be served immediately they need to reach 145 F, or 155 F if they're going to sit on a buffet for up to four hours.

"Anything you cook in a microwave must get to 165 F and hold that temperature for two minutes," Gal says -- mostly because microwaves heat unevenly.

All cooked foods need to be kept at at least 135 F, but for only up to four hours. After that it should be discarded.

"This is all about safety; it has nothing to do with quality," Gal says. "These guidelines are to prevent people from getting sick."

So if the cooking process destroys these pathogens, can't cooking resuscitate meats that are starting to go bad?

No, says Geoff Luebkemann, director of the Division of Hotels and Restaurants for the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

"Cooking will halt the growth of bacteria, but won't alter foodborne toxins left behind," he says. In meat that is beginning to go bad the pathogens release spores and gases that are toxic to humans.

"A good example is a can of something that's all puffed out," says Gal. "That's a sign of botulism."

Although there's no obvious way for a patron to tell, it's unlike a restaurant to save money by cooking and serving meat that is turning bad, Luebkemann notes: "A well-educated operator won't accept the risk of making people sick and threaten the viability of his or her business."

Mom would be so proud.

INSPECTIONS FOR THE WEEK OF AUG. 16-20:

--SNEEZEGUARDS

At least two restaurants in this group of inspections, Panera Bread and Bella Luna, were cited for sneeze guard problems.

Protection over exposed, self-service foods is a must at all times, Luebkemann says. The only exceptions, according to the Food Code, are nuts in a whole shell and raw fruits and vegetables intended for peeling.

Both restaurants took care of the problem within hours.

"It's not just from people sneezing or breathing on food, but also from dust or other debris from ceilings," Luebkemann says. "Sometimes to make the point, the inspector will pour some water from above the food. That usually gets the message across."

--ZERO CLUB

King of the Road in Dunnellon managed a routine inspection without a violation last week. Two other Dunnellon eateries, Cafe on the River and China Wok, both had Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point inspections -- a rigorous and time-consuming process -- and as a result neither was cited for any critical or noncritical violations.

An inspection is simply a momentary snapshot of a restaurant's condition at the time of the inspection. Mention here is simply to recognize the achievement. It is not to be considered a grade or an endorsement of the facility.

PINSTRIPE BAR AND GRILL:

3810 N.W. Blitchton Road, Ocala. Inspection date: Aug. 16. Reason: Routine. Result: Inspection completed.

Critical violations cited: Observed approximately half inch gap under back door; Observed Hotel and Restaurant license not properly displayed, corrected with inspector on site.

Nine noncritical violations cited; three corrected with inspector on site.

DERBY RESTAURANT AND PIZZERIA:

6855 W. State Road 40, Unit A. Ocala. Inspection date: Aug. 16. Reason: Routine. Result: Inspection completed.

Critical violations cited: Observed spray hose at dish sink lower than flood rim of sink; Observed lack of monthly inspection report for fire extinguishers and hood systems; Observed exit light not properly illuminated over front door.

Three noncritical violations cited; one corrected on-site.

SUBWAY SANDWICH AND SALADS:

5400 S.W. College Road, Ocala. Inspection date: Aug. 16. Reason: Routine. Result: Inspection completed.

No critical violations cited.

Two noncritical violations cited.

SUBWAY SANDWICH AND SALADS:

6855 S.E. Maricamp Road, Ocala. Inspection date: Aug. 16. Reason: routine. Result: Inspection completed.

Critical violation cited: Observed unlabeled spray bottle on shelf above the prep table.

Four noncritical violations cited.

NEW CHINA:

5400 S.W. College Road, Ocala. Inspection date: Aug. 16. Reason: Routine. Result: Inspection completed.

Critical violations cited: Observed sugar stored on floor; Observed onions stored on floor in walk-in cooler; Observed bulk flour uncovered; Observed lack of monthly inspection report for fire extinguishers and hood system.

Three noncritical violations cited.

SAM'S ST. JOHNS SEAFOOD:

5400 S.W. College Road, Ocala. Inspection date: Aug. 16. Reason: Routine. Result: Inspection completed.

Critical violations cited: Observed potentially hazardous cold food held at greater than 41 F; Observed food stored on floor in walk-in freezer. Corrected with inspector on site; Observed flour uncovered. Corrected with inspector on site; Observed sanitizing solution in towel bucket exceeding the maximum concentration allowed.

Six noncritical violations cited.

Restaurant response: "We stored food products in plastic pans in a cooler across from the broiler. We found the cooler would not maintain 41 F through plastic; we switched to metal because it maintains a cooler temperature. As I inspect things after an inspection, I try to determine things that are an ongoing issue rather than an issue at that time and take appropriate measure."

TAQUERIA EL TACONZA:

4001 W. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala. Inspection date: Aug. 16. Reason: Routine. Result: Warning, callback set Sept. 15.

Critical violations cited: Observed live flies in kitchen; Observed BC and K Class portable fire extinguisher blocked/not easily accessible; Observed no portable extinguisher with a 2A classification or equivalent for an ordinary hazard; Observed operation of Movile Food Dispensing Vehicle with LP gas tankes inside unit. Corrected with inspector on site; Observed manager lacking proof of Food Manager Certification; Observed no proof of required employee training.

Three noncritical violations cited.

WOK N ROLL II:

8602 S.W. SR 200, Ocala. Inspection date: Aug. 16. Reason: Routine. Result: Inspection completed.

Critical violations cited: Observed dented/rusted cans. Oyster-flavored sauce can badly dented. Being returned for credit; Observed potentially hazardous cold food held at greater than 41 F; Observed uncovered food. Pork inside walk-in not covered; Observed food stored on floor. Box of bread on floor of walk-in cooler; Observed outer openings not protected with self-closing doors. Back screen door does not self-close; Observed extension cord in use for non-temporary period. Used to power rice cooker.

Four noncritical violations cited.

Restaurant response: Owner chose not to comment.

EDWARD BULLOCK'S GRILL:

4901 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala. Inspection date: Aug 16. Reason: Routine. Result: Inspection completed.

Critical violation cited: Observed live flies in kitchen.

One noncritical violation cited.

DON PEPE MEXICAN:

20744 W. Pennsylvania Ave., Dunnellon. Inspection date: Aug. 16. Reason: Callback. Result: Violations from inspection July 16 found in compliance.

GAZEBO:

8890 S.W. 110th St., Ocala. Inspection date: Aug. 16. Reason: Routine. Result: Inspection completed.

Critical violations cited: Observed potentially cold food held at greater than 41 F; Observed live flies in kitchen; Observed out openings not protected with self-closing door. Back exit door does not self-close; Observed unlabeled spray bottle in bar area.

Three noncritical violations cited.

THE COPPER POT:

2019 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala. Inspection date: Aug. 16. Reason: Complaint. Result: Inspection completed.

Critical violations cited: Observed potentially hazardous cold food held at greater than 41 F; Observed uncovered food. Soups and sauce on service line not covered.

Five noncritical violations cited.

Inspector comment regarding complaint: "Complaint alleges cheeseburger consumed on Aug. 2 had an off taste. Complainant also thinks that hamburger was temperature abused. Unable to verify the off taste claim. However, the hamburger/ground beef were maintaining good temperatures at 40 F or less."

Restaurant response: "Anything the inspector found has been corrected. We voluntarily discarded the small amount of shrimp and ham not in the safety zone."

BELLA LUNA:

3425 S.W. College Road, Ocala. Inspection date: Aug. 17. Reason: Routine. Result: Inspection completed.

Critical violations cited: Observed potentially hazardous cold food held at greater than 41 F. Small amount voluntarily destroyed by manager; Observed pizza prep cooler incapable of maintaining potentially hazardous food at proper temperature. Remove from service until repair made; Observed self-service salad bar/buffet lacking sneeze guard or other proper protection from contamination; Observed chlorine sanitizer not at proper minimum strength in dish machine. Use triple sink until repair made; Observed unlabeled spray bottle in server area; Observed unlabeled spray bottle in cook area; Observed monthly fire extinguisher report log not kept up to date; Observed emergency light not working in men's restroom and one bulb out in women's restroom; Observed obstructed back door exit; Observed Hotel and Restaurant license not properly displayed. Corrected with inspector on site.

Sixteen noncritical violations cited.

Inspector comment: "Walls, floors, ceiling and baseboards need a good detail cleaning."

Restaurant response: Manager/part-owner disputes "cleaning" comment. "There was nothing dirty found, not in the food preparation areas, not in the coolers; inspector came in at peak of lunch and the dishwashing station was backed up. If you come in here in the middle of lunch, you're going to find some mess too. We had some issues to take care of; all the issues were taken care of that day or within 24 hours. We got a sneezeguard in that afternoon; the pizza prep cooler was repaired the next day. We've never had an inspection because of a complaint or a pest. We're going to do our best to be sure our customers have a healthy and safe dining experience with us."

OLIVE GARDEN:

3363 S.W. College Road, Ocala. Inspection date: Aug. 17. Reason: Routine. Result: Inspection completed.

Critical violations cited: Observed B/B soda syrup stored on floor in stockroom; Observed food stored on floor in walk-in freezer; Observed K class portable extinguisher not properly mounted; Observed K class portable extinguisher not fully charged; Observed back door exit blocked by trash cans; Observed light bulb fixture in walk-in cooler hanging by it's wires; Observed an uncovered electrical switch in walk-in cooler.

Three noncritical violations cited.

ARBY'S:

2811 S.W. College Road. Ocala. Inspection date: Aug. 17. Reason: Routine. Result: Inspection completed.

Critical violations cited: Observed food stored on floor in walk-in cooler; Observed ketchup packets stored on floor under lockers; Observed buns stored on floor.

Thirteen noncritical violations cited.

CHICK-FIL-A:

3558 S.W. College Road, Ocala. Inspection date: Aug. 17. Reason: Routine. Result: Inspection completed.

No critical violation cited:

One noncritical violations cited.

SILVER SPRINGS:

5656 E. Silver Springs Blvd, Silver Springs. Inspection date: Aug. 17. Reason: Routine. Result: Inspections completed.

SPRINGSIDE CAFE:

One critical violation: Observed dead roach in storage area below office desk. Inspector comment: "Observed in the storage area what appears to be a strayed roach/palmetto bug from the grass around the building. Instructed to clean it up. Done." Two noncritical violations cited.

BILLY BOWLEGS CHICKEN:

One critical violation: Observed outer openings not protected with self-closing doors. Side exit door does not self close properly." Three noncritical violations cited.

CYPRESS POINT BAR:

Two noncritical violations cited.

THE DELI: One critical violation: Observed the presence of dead palmetto bugs in back storage area. Two noncritical violations cited.

FIREHOUSE SUBS:

2701 SR 200, suite 108, Ocala. Inspection date: Aug. 17. Reason: Routine. Result: Inspection completed.

Critical violation cited: Observed electric panel box blocked by trash can.

One noncritical violation cited.

BISTRO MEDITERRANEAN GRILL:

3500 S.W. College Road, suite 400, Ocala. Inspection date: Aug. 17. Reason: Routine. Result: Warning; callback set Aug. 31.

Critical violations cited: Observed potentially hazardous cold food held at greater than 41 F. Very small amount voluntarily destroyed by chef; Observed glass cleaner stored on edge of ice machine; Observed unlabeled spray bottles all over; Observed ABC portable extinguisher with tag out-of-date, near office; Observed ABC portable extinguisher not properly mounted; Observed hood suppression system tag out-of-date; Observed no proof of required employee training. Held at owner's home office.

Eight noncritical violations cited.

Restaurant response: "Hood suppression system was taken care of today. Spray bottles are a commercial table sanitizer; they have factory label on them. Invested in a program so each employee has food handling certification. Keeping records at restaurant now. Everything's been taken care of now. This kind of thing keeps us all on our toes, and the customers benefit."

SOUL II SOUL CAFE:

907 N. Magnolia Ave., Ocala. Inspection date: Aug 17. Reason: Licensing. Result: Inspection completed.

Critical violations cited: Toxic items not properly labeled or stored; Fire extinguishers not properly installed or sufficient.

Two noncritical violations cited.

No. 1 CHINESE FOOD:

2400 S.W. College Road #105. Ocala. Inspection date: Aug. 18. Reason: Routine. Result: Inspection completed.

Critical violations cited: Observed corn starch uncovered.

Nine noncritical violations cited.

TACO BELL:

2380 S.W. College Road, Ocala. Inspection date: Aug. 18. Reason: Routine. Result: Inspection completed.

Critical violations cited: Observed lack of monthly inspection report for extinguishers and hood system; Observed BC portable extinguisher with tag not punched; Observed trash can blocking back door exit; Observed Hotel and Restaurant license not properly displayed.

Two noncritical violations cited.

AYUTTAYA THAI CUISINE:

2437 S.W. 27th Ave, Ocala. Inspection date: Aug. 18. Reason: Routine. Result: Inspection completed.

One critical violation cited: Observed sanitizing solution exceeding the maximum concentration allowed in towel bucket.

No noncritical violations cited.

PANERA BREAD:

2370 S.W. College Road, Ocala. Inspection date: Aug. 18. Reason: Routine. Result: Inspection completed.

Critical violations cited: Observed croissants lacking sneeze guards or other proper protection from contamination; Observed employee's open beverage containing on shelf with food items. Corrected with inspector on site; Observed ABC portable extinguisher near back door not fully charged; Observed lack of monthly inspection report for extinguishers.

One noncritical violation cited.

Restaurant response: "The sneezeguard situation was immediately corrected. Extinguisher had been discharged unbeknowst to me. All been taken care of."

MOE'S SOUTHWEST GRILL:

2604 S.W. 19th Ave-Road, Ocala. Inspection date: Aug. 18. Reason: Licensing. Result: Inspection completed.

Critical violation cited: Gas appliance not properly installed or maintained.

Five noncritical violations cited.

WOODLEA GARDENS:

2201 S.W. College Road, Ocala. Inspection date: Aug. 18. Reason: Routine. Result: Inspection completed.

Critical violations cited: Observed ABC portable extinguisher behind freezer not properly mounted; Observed exit light not illuminated over front door.

Three noncritical violations cited. One corrected with inspector on site.

OLLIES FROZEN CUSTARD:

1572 Bella Cruz Dr., The Villages. Inspection date: Aug. 18. Reason: Routine. Result: Inspection completed.

Critical violation cited: Observed portable fire extinguisher blocked.

No noncritical violations cited.

BENNIGANS No. 913:

3445 S.W. College Road, Ocala. Inspection date: Aug. 19. Reason: Routine. Result: Inspection completed.

Critical violations cited: Observed potentially hazardous food cold held at greater than 41 degrees F. Observed condensation from salad cooler dripping onto uncovered PHF below. Observed employee's open beverage container on top of ice machine. Observed thermotape failed to turn black indicating sanitization temperature of 160 degrees F was achieved on dish surface. Observed exit light over back door not illuminated. Observed exposed electrical wiring in light fixture near triple sink.

Twelve noncritical violations cited; one corrected on-site.

Restaurant response: "The inspector came in before we did our night temperature check; we would have caught it an hour or so later, but it's a good thing he came in when he did. We had our people out to repair the drawer cooler about a half-hour after he left and it was repaired that evening. The problem was with a salad cooler that wasn't latching properly causing condensation that dripped down. Some eggrolls and fish in the drawer cooler were discarded."

RICCI'S DELI:

3101 S.W. 34th Avenue, Suite 804, Ocala. Inspection date: Aug. 19. Reason: Routine. Result: Inspection completed.

Critical violations cited: Observed potentially hazardous cold food held at greater than 41 F. Observed potentially hazardous hot food not held at 140 F or hotter.

Two noncritical violations cited.

Restaurant response: "Inspector came at 1:21 p.m. after lunch over all these foods on lunch prepartion counter. The employees were rotating stock, the cooler door was open a lot. The proper holding temp in the cooler is 40 F, and it was back down to that before he left. He has to report what he sees, and I'm glad he does; it keeps everybody on their toes. Just added more meatballs from cooler hadn't gotten up to proper holding temperature. These were just rotating and cleaning issues, a normal part of the day."

OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE:

3215 S.W. College Road. Ocala. Inspection date: Aug. 19. Reason: Routine. Result: Inspection completed.

Critical violations cited: Observed ABC portable fire extinguisher near ice machine blocked by liner towels; Observed back door obstructed by cardboard boxes; Observed exit light not properly illuminated.

Eight noncritical violations; three corrected on-site.

WENDY'S:

3209 S.W. College Road. Ocala. Inspection date: Aug. 19. Reason: Routine. Result: Inspection completed.

Critical violations cited: Observed an uncovered electrical socket in office.

One noncritical violation cited.

RUSTY PONTOON'S GRILLE:

20049 E. Pennsylvania Ave. Dunnellon. Inspection date: Aug. 20. Reason: Routine. Result: Inspection completed.

Critical violations cited: Observed chlorine sanitizer not at proper minimum strength in dishmachine; Observed exit lights not properly illuminated.

Three noncritical violations cited.

KFC:

11583 N. Williams St. Dunnellon. Inspection date: Aug. 20. Reason: Complaint. Result: Inspection completed. Complaint condition not observed.

Critical violations cited: Observed iced tead uncovered. Observed live flies in kitchen. Observed lack of monthly inspection report for fire extinguishers and hood system. Observed hood suppression pull stations not labeled.

Four noncritical violations cited.

Inspector comment: "Complaint had to do with dirty restaurant, and dropping chicken on dirty floor, not that it was reused."

SUBWAY SANDWICH AND SALADS:

11352 N. Williams St. Dunnellon. Inspection date: Aug. 20. Reason: Routine. Result: Inspection completed.

Critical violations cited: Observed back door not protected with working self-closer.

Seven noncritical violations cited.

CHINA WOK:

11352 N. Williams St., Dunnellon. Inspection date: Aug. 20. Reason: Hazard Analysis/Critical Control Point. Result: Inspection completed.

No critical violations cited.

No noncritical violations cited.

CAFE ON THE RIVER:

19773 E. Pennsylvania Ave., Dunnellon. Inspection date: Aug. 20. Reason: Hazard Analysis/Critical Control Point. Result: Inspection completed.

No critical violations cited.

No noncritical violations cited.

KING OF THE ROAD:

15281 N. Williams St., Dunnellon. Inspection date: Aug. 20. Reason: Routine. Result: Inspection completed.

No critical violations cited.

No noncritical violations cited.

-----To see more of the Ocala Star-Bannner -- including its homes, jobs, cars and other classified listings -- or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.starbanner.com.

(c) 2004, Ocala Star-Banner, Fla. Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News. For information on republishing this content, contact us at (800) 661-2511 (U.S.), (213) 237-4914 (worldwide), fax (213) 237-6515, or e-mail reprints@krtinfo.com.

 
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