Epicurean, Leo’s, The Tombs, and Bangkok Bistro were high-risk violators of D.C. health code in 2009Posted by: Molly Redden in Vox Populi, tags: Bangkok Bistro, Department of Health, Epicurean, Food, Health Inspections, Leo's, The Tombs
A couple of weeks ago, Vox got the Freedom of Information Act itch and decided to FOIA the Food Establishment Inspection Reports of some local restaurants. We obtained the two most recent health inspection reports from the D.C. Health Regulations and Licensing Administration for 13 area food establishments and perused them over Spring break to see if Georgetown students were eating safe.
What’d we find? Well for starters, you’d better lay off the Epicurean sushi.
The 13 restaurants we looked at netted 30 critical violations and 29 non-critical violations of the health code. Four establishments, Leo’s, Epicurean & Co., The Tombs, and Bangkok Bistro were listed on at least one report as “high-risk” establishments. All of them had critical violations and were given five days to correct their violations or else their licenses would not be renewed.
These four establishments accounted for 20 of the critical violations and 14 of the non-critical violations in all 26 inspections reports. Six critical violations that cannot be corrected on site result in the automatic closure of the food establishment. Owners are usually given five days to rectify critical violations and forty-five for non-critical violations or they risk closure.
Because of the volume of information our FOIA requests turned up, we’ve divided the results into two posts. Tomorrow, we’ll give you the details on the restaurants that were identified as a medium risk or had clean bills of health. And today, we’ll run an accounting of the high-risk establishments, including startling information on Dean & Deluca that the Washington Examiner turned up in their review of health code violators.
EPICUREAN & CO.
Epicurean & Co., shown above, was the biggest violator, and was the only restaurant listed as a “high risk” violator on both of the inspection reports Vox obtained. In late August of 2009, Epicurean earned five critical and four non-critical violations, all of which were corrected on site. They included:
- Food was not properly “segregated, separated, [or] protected.” At the sushi station, eggs were stored in a way where they might contaminate other foods.
- The restaurant was cited for unclean and unsanitized food contact surfaces.
- The restaurant’s food marking and disposal methods were cited.
- Food and non-critical surfaces were not properly maintained.
Earlier in the year, in February, Epicurean had fared even worse, and inspectors discovered 13 critical health code violations, only nine of which were corrected on site.