Los Recuerdos, a Colombian restaurant in Lawrenceville, learned the hard way the importance of keeping food at the proper temperatures.
The family restaurant at 1455 Pleasant Hill Road had its food permit suspended briefly last week because of persistent problems with not keeping potentially hazardous cold foods at 41 degrees or below.
During a routine inspection March 22, the East Metro Public Health inspector noted a cooler was letting cold air out and wasn’t maintaining the proper temperature. Ice was used to keep food cooled down, but this was ineffective. Some of it had to be thrown away.
There were other code violations, too. Raw chicken was being thawed at room temperature instead of under cold running water or in the refrigerator. Ready-to-eat foods were not separated from raw meats. And some of the temperatures for hot-held foods were not up to the standard and had to be discarded as well.
Los Recuerdos was given a failing inspection score of 66 out of 100.
And because it was the third time they had been marked down for not maintaining cold temperatures, the food permit was suspended. They were asked to either repair or replace the cooler.
The restaurant recovered quickly and took care of the problem that day. Manager Fanny Salas said the cooler was fine, but temperatures inside were rising because the top was being opened to get food out. More ice was added and temperatures are now checked every three hours, she said.
Their food permit was reinstated the next morning after a follow-up inspection showed no problems with food temperatures. The new score is a 91, an A.
Buckhead Diner also pulled up its inspection score back to an A. During a follow-up inspection March 23 the diner received a 90 out of 100.
Here’s a sample of other recent inspection scores from area restaurants:
— by Laura Berrios for the Food & More blog
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