These Topeka restaurants, hotels and a grocery store failed KDA inspections in February

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Kansas food safety and lodging inspectors found several Topeka establishments to be out of compliance with state law in February.

Kansas law delegates to the Kansas Department of Agriculture the authority to regulate food establishments, food processing plants and lodging establishments. Violations — particularly priority violations linked to causes of foodborne illness — can lead to various consequences, including the immediate closure of an establishment.

Kansas Department of Agriculture records show that while most Topeka service establishments passed inspections in February with either no violations or no serious ones, several failed. Most inspections were routine, but inspectors also visited after complaints, for licensing, follow-ups and other reasons.

The following establishments were listed as out of compliance with state law after inspections in February.

The Feb. 28 routine inspection found four violations.

In a hot holding cabinet, a pig in a blanket wasn’t hot enough.

In a refrigerator, an unopened jug of milk, hot dogs and smokies in a blanket were all thrown away because they weren’t kept cold enough.

A warewashing sink had a clogged and backed-up drain, which the person in charge said was due to grease and was scheduled to be fixed the next day.

The sewage issue was considered an imminent health hazard, which required ceasing of operations and immediate notification of the KDA, which didn’t happen.

A follow-up inspection was scheduled for March 9.

The Feb. 27 routine inspection found eight violations.

An employee used the same towel to dry his hands after washing them and to wipe raw egg off his gloved hands. An employee handled a raw egg without gloves then touched a clean plate without washing his hands. An employee went in and out of the kitchen by pushing the door, but did not wash his hands before continuing with food preparation. An employee handled a biscuit out of a toaster and a sausage patty off the grill with his bare hands. An employee was using the ware washing sink and sanitizer to wash his hands instead of the hand sink.

The refrigerator had cooked steak, sausage for pizza and a can of chipotle without date marks. There were also an open bag of feta cheese crumbles and cooked spinach that were opened on Feb. 14 and had been held past seven days. There was also an open jug of milk, opened deli ham and opened mozzarella cheese that had no date marks, but had been open for less than seven days.

A follow-up was scheduled for April 8.

Inspectors found two violations during a Feb. 22 reopening inspection. One was for beds that had mattresses with holes in them and one that was missing a mattress. The other was for issues with ground-fault circuit interrupter electrical outlets in multiple rooms.

Another follow-up had been scheduled for March 3.

Inspectors found six violations during a Feb. 5 routine inspection and three during a Feb. 19 follow-up inspection.

During the first inspection, multiple meats were not held cold enough. The kitchen and back room had sticky traps with more than 50 dead cockroaches. There was no probe food thermometer, no chlorine test strips and no hand soap at the handwashing sink.

At the second inspection, there was a sticky trap with more than 10 dead cockroaches under the prep sink. There were also two live cockroaches.

They had also bought chlorine test strips, but they were for swimming pools.

Another follow-up was scheduled for March 10.

The Feb. 19 courtesy inspection found nine violations.

In a fridge, the inspector found an opened package of hard boiled eggs without an open date or discard date. An open jug of milk did not have an open date. An unopened carton of potato salad was past its expiration date. There was also an open case of raw bacon stored above individual milk cartons. They threw away several opened foods that were multiple weeks old and thus past the seven day limit: a pan of black beans dated Jan. 31, containers of cottage cheese dated Jan. 26 and mozzarella cheese dated Jan. 31.

A microwave had dried food debris inside.

An employee was washing dishes while the jug of sanitizer was empty. They also did not have any useable quaternary test strips. Two hand washing sinks were out of hand soap.

More than 10 fresh rodent droppings were found in the mechanical room.

The establishment was back in compliance after a Feb. 29 follow-up.

The Feb. 19 routine inspection found one violation. It was for a leaky reduce pressure zone device under the dining room soda machine with a puddle of a dark liquid under the soda carbonator.

The restaurant was back in compliance after a March 1 follow-up.

The Feb. 15 complaint inspection found eight violations.

Inspectors found moldy blueberries and strawberries in the cold case holding, the salad bar prep station and the fresh fruit walk-in.

The deli had multiple deli meats, including roast beef and pepperoni, with incorrect discard dates.

A deli department employee was preparing a food tray and touching green grapes with bare hands. The grapes were thrown away, and the employee washed their hands and put on gloves.

The Chinese kitchen had a box of raw eggs above raw cabbage and broccoli.

The hot holding display had multiple foods, including fried chicken and mashed potatoes, that were not being held hot enough. The hot holding display for Asian food had sesame, orange and General Tao’s chicken not being held hot enough because an employee had overfilled the pans past the fill line.

The cold holding display was not keeping food cold enough, including cheese cake and pasta salad.

The bakery department and the meat department both had knives with food debris on them. The bakery handwashing sink did not have towels. A deli cutting board had cuts in the surface. So did a a cutting board in the fresh fruit prep area, which had black mold growing in those cuts.

The grocery store was back in compliance after a Feb. 28 follow-up.

The Feb. 15 routine inspection found four violations of federal regulations.

Pallets of beer kegs were stored too close to a wall to allow for cleaning. There were exposed light bulbs above the fermentation tanks and canning equipment. No soap was coming out of a hand sink soap dispenser. The sanitizer was not being tested.

The establishment was back in compliance after a Feb. 28 follow-up.

A Feb. 15 complaint inspection found six violations.

Three rooms had dirty floors, one room had mold on the shower ceiling while another had mold on a wall by the toilet, one room had a ripped window screen, one room had a ripped top sheet while another had a ripped top cover, one room had an unsecure secondary lock, and one room had an electrical outlet without a cover.

The lodging establishment was back in compliance after a Feb. 20 reopening inspection.

The Feb. 8 inspection, the first operational inspection after licensing, found one violation. It was for hot water not getting hot enough.

The person in charge said they would bring it to the attention of mall maintenance staff to have it repaired, and meanwhile they would heat water on the grill.

The establishment was back in compliance after a Feb. 19 follow-up.

The Feb. 2 inspection, a follow-up on a December inspection, found four violations.

Two outside doors had broken key lock mechanisms allowing the doors to be opened from the outside. One room’s bathroom wall had visible stains and residue, the toilet base and the floor around it were dirty and both bed comforters had visible stains.

The inspector also indicated that the morning breakfast service had been operating unlicensed for several months and would be restricted to only coffee until the food service was licensed.

The establishment was back in compliance after a Feb. 14 follow-up.

The Feb. 1 routine inspection found three violations.

A kitchen closet had more than 15 fresh rodent droppings. There were several holes, some of which that had been filled with spray foam, and some missing ceiling tiles. Sticky traps and rodent trap boxes had been set out. The person in charge said a foundation company survey determined the building needed foundation work.

The establishment was back in compliance after a Feb. 14 follow-up.

The following service establishments were in compliance when inspectors visited in February with either no violations or only relatively minor ones.

Jason Alatidd is a Statehouse reporter for the Topeka Capital-Journal. He can be reached by email at jalatidd@gannett.com. Follow him on X @Jason_Alatidd.