Report for Ms. Creshema Thomas, Chief Operating Officer of the Premier Dining Group
Dear Ms. Thomas,
Please find a report of my official findings and recommendations as a result of my preliminary inspection of the Canoe Restaurant in Pasadena, CA. I was in the restaurant making my observations for about four hours the other day:
I observed a frozen turkey being thawed at room temperature upon my arrival at the restaurant at around 9 am. Per the ordinance, thawing should take place in a refrigerator with a temperature below 38 degrees Fahrenheit, or be placed for up to two hours under running water with a temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. When I left Canoe at around 1 pm, I still noticed the same turkey still lying on the kitchen counter. As the kitchen temperature at the time was 73 degrees, then there is the possibility of bacterial contamination while the turkey was left to thaw at the kitchen temperature.
The assistant of the head chef was chopping beef into cubes, and then proceeded to chop chicken without changing the knife, or without properly cleaning and sanitizing the same knife before chopping the chicken. This practice could lead to cross-contamination.
The ordinance also requires the food items stored in containers should be properly labeled. The storage containers ought to be properly labeled always.
The staff were all wearing gloves and very clean uniforms, but they were not wearing hair nets. The use of hair nets is prescribed under the ordinance.
There were no thermometers inside both the freezer and the refrigerator, against the prescriptions in the ordinance.
However, despite the deviations mentioned above, there were also some positive observations of compliance to the ordinance:
Both the refrigerator and the freezer are impeccably clean and very-well organized. There will be less possibility for bacterial development and contamination because of the cleanliness of these units. Once the items inside are properly labeled, one can find whatever he is looking for quite easily.
The dry storage area is also very clean and likewise very well- organized, and the temperature as well as the humidity of this area is within the requirements of the ordinance.
Kindly note that the deviations above are easily correctible. It is very easy to simply begin to clean and sanitize utensils, or to label food storage containers, or to thaw meat using the proper procdures. The restaurant management can take advantage of the staff’s strong commitment to maintaining order and cleanliness within its premises. This also means that the staff are committed to the highest restaurant standards in the industry. What is more important is that the staff would be able to live and breathe the standards that are required in the ordinance such that these standards become a way of life for them already. They will apply the standards both in the restaurant and even perhaps in their homes. A simple re-orientation and re-training of the staff of the restaurant will be very helpful in this instance. It could be that the staff are aware of their duties and responsibilities as well as the requirements of the ordinance, but that they may have forgotten a few details at the present time. The cooperation of all the staff together with other third party individuals who will be involved in the sale will make the Canoe Restaurant compliant with all the regulations for restaurants in LA County.
For your information please.