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Health Dept. Finds Multiple 'Critical' Violations at Columbia Bar

A breakdown of Chester County's June food inspection reports.

Editor’s note: Soon after our publication of the , representatives of several of the Phoenixville eateries that had been surveyed expressed the view that the reports were unfit to publish. They argued that the language in the health department’s reports is notoriously ambiguous and even misleading. The reports, they said, tend to frame potential hazards as actual hazards and generally overstate the extent of specific problems within the restaurants.

 (A representative from the county health department later corroborated this. In an email exchange with Patch, she acknowledged that the wording of the reports is imperfect and said the county is weighing changes to its health inspection system.)

Concerns noted, Phoenixville Patch proceeded to verify what seemed the plain claims of the May reports–namely that there was “insect/rodent harborage” at Boston Market. To this end I filed a Right to Know request with Chester County to obtain the complete results of two of the inspections. (The county makes available only the areas where restaurants were in violation, but not the precise reasons for the violations. To get this information, one must directly request it from the county). The Chester County Health Department, as of July 10, for reasons that are unclear, has not complied with this request.

Which brings us to here. The June reports are out now and we have decided to run them. Though we acknowledge the below information is incomplete–and promise to continue to do our best to complete it–Phoenixville Patch has determined that what little we have is still sufficiently useful our readers to warrant publication. If you disagree, you can tell us why in the comments, or at tom.sunnergren@patch.com. Thank you, as always, for reading.

 

The following health inspection results from June 2012 were provided by the Chester County Health Department. The results of each of the county's 2012 health inspections are available here.

148 Bridge St

Inspection Date: 6/21

Total Score (out of 100): 70

Critical Violations

  • Food received in unsound condition; spoilage found; food from an unapproved source
  • Food did not meet temperature requirements
  • Food not protected from contamination/cross contamination
  • Restroom or handwashing facilities not provided, accessible
  • Presence of rodents/insects; harborage; breeding; outer openings not protected

Non-Critical Violations

  • Restrooms/Handwashing facilities found unclean; not provided with necessary supplies
  • Non-food-contact surfaces of equipment found unclean; improperly maintained
  • Single-service items being re-used; improper handling; improper storage 
  • Floors/walls/ceilings found unclean, in disrepair
  • Plumbing leaks or disrepair found

165 Nutt Rd

Inspection Date: 6/12

Total Score (out of 100): 90

Critical Violations

  • Food received in unsound condition; spoilage found; food from an unapproved source
  • Food not protected from contamination/cross contamination

450–452 Bridge St

Inspection Date: 6/12

Total Score (out of 100): 75

Critical Violations

  • Food did not meet temperature requirements
  • Food not protected from contamination/cross contamination
  • Food not thawed properly
  • Improper handwashing techniques by food workers

Non-Critical Violations

  • Non-food-contact surfaces of equipment found unclean; improperly maintained
  • Dishwashing facilities improperly designed, constructed, maintained
  • Floors/walls/ceilings found unclean, in disrepair
  • Plumbing leaks or disrepair found
  • Improper ventilation found

138 Bridge St

Inspection Date: 6/6

Total Score (out of 100): 94

Critical Violation

  • Food not protected from contamination/cross contamination

Non-Critical Violation

  • Restrooms/Handwashing facilities found unclean; not provided with necessary supplies

24 S Main St

Inspection Date: 6/22

Total Score (out of 100): 98

Non-Critical Violations

  • Restrooms/Handwashing facilities found unclean; not provided with necessary supplies
  • Food service equipment improperly stored and handled
ConcernedPHXresident July 11, 2012 at 07:06 PM
You go and get 'em, Bob. I hope they can eventually satisfy you the way you want.
Sean Shepherd July 11, 2012 at 10:34 PM
I think the complaint that everyone has is that perhaps we should have waited until the actual report was received before publishing unclear findings. Responsible journalism would have included reaching out to the owners prior to your post. Instead you chose to behave like the national enquirer or tmz and it is now the responsibility of the businesses to finish your research. There was no effort to get the complete story. Had you done this you would have been able to give your readers facts and the whole story rather than just shock value.
Tom Sunnergren July 11, 2012 at 11:37 PM
Sean: The intention is not to sensationalize or to make local businesses look bad (on the contrary, I am proudly, brazenly, biased in support of Phoenixville businesses. I patronize them and want to see them succeed) but simply to give our readers the information we get, when we get it. To reiterate, I think the above information is appropriate to print as is for several reasons: One, the source--the Chester County Health Department--is a sound and reliable one. Two, I wrote a rather long introduction contextualizing this information (i.e., outlining the conflict over the wording in the report) so our readers can interpret it properly. Three, I've invited any businesses who feel the findings are inaccurate to use this space to correct the record, or to contact me directly. And four, if I'm given reason to believe a specific report the county has made publicly available is misleading, I will badger the county until they give me the complete record of the inspection (Which is what I did here http://phoenixville.patch.com/articles/health-dept-gives-boston-market-clean-bill-of-health). This is, in my journalistic judgement, a fair, prudent, and efficient way to handle the publication of this information. Again, if you or anyone at The Columbia have specific disputes re the June 21 report, please contact me in this chat thread or directly, and I will work to get the story straight.
TheNate July 26, 2012 at 03:36 AM
Sadly, Nudy's handwashing charge doesn't surprise me. I quit eating there after I saw a cook leave the bathroom without washing - a true "Poppy got sloppy" moment.
. July 26, 2012 at 01:03 PM
Why are people attacking Tom Sunnergren for simply reposting reports done by the Chester County Health Department? If your establishment received a bad report, take it up with the County. That said, I'm pretty sure those getting negative reports were deserved and the offenders are just upset that a 3rd party informed others of the problems. They figure most people aren't going to go to the Chester County Website to look this stuff up so they can get away with findings without the general public knowing. As someone who has gotten food poisoning from a few restaurants I thank Mr. Sunnergren for the "head's up" and will be avoiding all of these places (not that I went to them anyone)> The Columbia Bar & Grille is a decent spot to have a drink away from all of the kids but in my (and most others I know) the food is overpriced and not very good.

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