See how local eateries stacked up in this week’s restaurant inspections. (Photo: Olga Pavlovsky, Flickr)

See how area restaurants did on health department inspections this week.

Nooga.com highlights any restaurant that scored a 90 percent or less, as well as those that got a perfect score on the initial inspection.

There is explanation/context about the inspections at the end of this article. 

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Restaurant: St. Elmo Deli & Grill
Address: 3931 St. Elmo Ave.
Score: 90
Critical issues: Yes. One critical violation, which was a lack of proper cold holding temperatures.
Follow-up required: Yes
Date of inspection: 10/10

Restaurant: Rafael’s Italian Restaurant
Address: 9607 Dayton Pike
Score: Brought up from 90 to 95
Critical issues: No
Follow-up required: No
Date of inspection: 10/13 

Restaurant: Copeland’s Childcare Center
Address: 2001 Raulston Ave.
Score: Brought up from 90 to 100
Critical issues: Yes. Two critical violations, including lack of proper date marking/disposition.
Follow-up required: Done on same day as original inspection
Date of inspection: 10/9

Restaurant: Subway
Address: 115 Browns Ferry Road
Score: 89
Critical issues: Yes. One critical violation, which was toxic substances not properly identified/stored/used.
Follow-up required: Yes
Date of inspection: 10/9

Restaurant: Fuji Steak & Sushi
Address: 5437 Highway 153
Score: Brought up from 89 to 96
Critical issues: Yes. Two critical violations, including lack of proper cold holding temperatures.
Follow-up required: No
Date of inspection: 10/9

Restaurant: Arby’s
Address: 501 Northgate Mall Drive
Score: 88
Critical issues: Yes. Two critical violations, including lack of proper cold holding temperatures.
Follow-up required: Yes
Date of inspection: 10/5

Restaurant: The Chop House
Address: 2011 Gunbarrel Road
Score: 87
Critical issues: Yes. Three critical violations, including lack of proper hot holding temperatures.
Follow-up required: Yes
Date of inspection: 10/10

Restaurant: Mayo’s Bar and Grill
Address: 3828 Brainerd Road
Score: 79
Critical issues: Yes. Four critical violations, including food not properly separated/protected. 
Follow-up required: Yes
Date of inspection: 10/9

High score highlights
These restaurants got a score of 100 without a follow-up inspection.

  • 21st Century Childcare, 2503 Bailey Ave.
  • Comfort Inn & Suites, 2341 Shallowford Village Road
  • Standifer Gap Seventh-day Adventist School, 5255 Standifer Gap Road
  • Sourdough Cuppa Joe, 6707 Hixson Pike
  • Subway, 5231 Highway 153

Six people with the health department are responsible for inspecting everything from pools and schools to restaurants and special events, such as Riverbend.

Although the number fluctuates as businesses open and close, officials estimated there are about 1,700 restaurants in Hamilton County. Each one has two unannounced inspections a year.

The reports are divided into two sections—critical and noncritical.

Violations in the critical categories likely demand a follow-up, unless operators can correct the situation right then. For violations that can’t be resolved quickly, restaurants have 10 days to correct them.

A follow-up report isn’t totally representative of how a restaurant did because they could have gotten a 70 the first time and then 10 days later corrected the problems and raised the score to a 90.

Members of the public often wonder why restaurants with low scores aren’t immediately shut down, but inspectors can only do that if there is an “imminent health hazard,” such as sewage backup.

Another misconception is about “failing” grades. A score of 55 is bad, but the restaurant gets 10 days to bring it up. If the restaurant doesn’t bring the score up, officials can initiate a closure process, although that is rare.

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