One-fifth had food safety issues

Debbie Blank | The Herald-TribuneThe Franklin County Health Department is housed in Brookville's Franklin County Government Center.

There seem to be more retail food establishments than ever in Franklin County.

Of 144 inspections conducted by Franklin County Health Department sanitarian David Fehlinger in the past nine months, 20.8 percent had at least one dreaded C, which stands for a critical problem that could sicken persons if left uncorrected. Some locations were visited more than once during this time period.

One trend was obvious: Mice were leaving droppings where they shouldn’t and workers were not cleaning them up. They were found in cabinets at Batesville Shell; Brau Haus, Oldenburg; One Stop Marathon, Laurel; Brookville Food Mart, Brookville Lanes, Subway and Ye Olde Shack, Brookville; on kitchen shelves at China Wok, Batesville; and in storage rooms at D&N Diner, Laurel; and A&R Sales, Brookville.

Another problem was establishments without certified food handlers: The Bake Shop, Metamora; Laurel Café and The Cozy Corner, Laurel; Third Place (cited Aug. 20, 2015, and corrected Feb. 4), and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2014, Brookville.

Ice machines containing interior mold were found at Brau Haus, Oldenburg; Lakeside Exxon, McDonald’s, Pavey’s Phillips 66 and the VFW post, Brookville; and One Stop Marathon and Pavey’s One Stop, Laurel.

Other issues: salad bar temperature between 45-50 degrees instead of the required 41 degrees or less, Laurel Hotel Restaurant & Bar; expired baby food, Pavey’s One Stop, Laurel; large amount of flies in rear of restaurant, Arby’s; ice cream mixes and hamburger prep station above 41 degrees, The Dairy Cottage; salsa in small containers not held at 45 degrees or less and cooked pork not date marked for holding (seven days at 41 degrees), El Reparo; dirty slicer and raw chicken being thawed with raw and cooked pork, Goldfinch Restaurant; raw chicken stored above cabbage in walk-in cooler, dirty slicer, hand washing sink and towel dispenser and pitted and chipping microwave interior, The Pioneer Bar & Restaurant; expired baby formula, IGA, Brookville; rusty and chipping meat cooler shelving and walk-in freezer shelving and ceiling, The Hearthstone Restaurant, Metamora.

About 16.7 percent of inspection reports received the NC (noncritical) code for less serious issues. While some spots improve over time, others regress, perhaps due to different employees on duty. For instance, the sanitarian found two noncritical items at Lin’s China House, Brookville, July 14, 2015, but eight when he returned Jan. 6: dirty salt, pepper, soy and sugar dispensers, chair backs and handles, soda dispenser nozzles, freezer exterior, walk-in cooler door, floor and shelves, dry storage bins exteriors; grease dripping from ventilation hood; and dried storage food containers must have tight fitting lids, but didn’t.

The establishment with the next most NC findings was Subway, Brookville, with four. Three businesses had three noncritical items: Wendy’s, Batesville; Wagner’s Village Inn, Oldenburg; and IGA, Brookville.

Five were dinged for having two issues each: D&N Diner, Laurel Café and Pizza Station, Laurel; Arby’s and Country Mark, Brookville.

Thirteen inspections revealed one problem at each: Cricket Ridge, Dollar General, McDonald’s, Pizza King, Subway and Wendy’s, Batesville; Pizza King, Metamora (July 2, 2015, and Jan. 20); Big Boyz Pizza, Country Mark, 52 Pik-Up, Parkside Marine and The Midtown Diner, Brookville.

Fehlinger could find no violations during 90 inspections for an excellent 62.5 percent.

Those making the food safety honor roll are Batesville High School, Batesville Primary School, Dollar General, Dotty’s Bulk Foods, Hampton Inn, Kroger Co., KTS Foodmart, McDonald’s, Nina’s Sweets, Pizza Hut, Pizza King, St. Mary’s Tavern, Shopko, Subway and The Toros, Batesville; Kessing Haus Café, Oldenburg Academy, Pearl Street Pub, Village Store and Wagner’s Village Inn, Oldenburg.

Also, Amish Cheese House, Family Touch, Grannie’s Cookie Jars, Hav-A-Bite, Metamora Gem Mine, Mr. Fudge’s Confectionery, Pavey’s BP, Prairie Winds Mercantile, Scooty’s BBQ, Steeplechase Ristorante, The Cat & The Fiddle, The Farmhouse and The Smelly Gourmet, Metamora; Pavey’s Grocery, Andersonville; The Fireside Inn, Enochsburg; Haspin Acres, Laurel Elementary and Middle School, Pavey’s One Stop, Pizza Station and 244 Café, Laurel; Beebe Marathon and Cedar Grove Tavern, Cedar Grove; Teg’s Cookies, Pies & Pastries, West Harrison; Country Store Café, New Trenton.

Also, Aromas Café & Deli, Big Boyz Pizza, Brookville Elementary School, Brookville Ice Co., Brookville Lanes, Brookville Middle School, CVS, Dollar General, El Reparo, Family Dollar, 52 Pik-Up, Franklin County High School, Goldfinch Restaurant, Korner’s Kountry Kitchen, Lakeside Exxon, Lovin’ Spoonful, Mount Carmel Elementary School, Nixie’s, Oak Forest Store, Pavey’s Phillips 66, Pizza Pete, Rileybrook Hall, Rosenberger’s Main Meat Market, St. Michael School, St. Peters Carryout & Deli, Save-A-Lot, White’s Farmers Market and Ye Olde Shack, Brookville.

No problems were discovered at three bed-and-breakfasts: Hickory Road Inn, Batesville; Hospitality House and Metamora Inn, Metamora.

Debbie Blank can be contacted at or 812-934-4343, Ext. 113.

More duties

During the last quarter that ended March 31, in addition to inspections, Fehlinger had other tasks:

• On Feb. 5 he received a phone call from an Indiana State Department of Health official about a possible botulism case involving a county resident, but medical tests showed no illness.

• On March 16 the sanitarian met with another ISDH official at Kessing Haus Cafe to assist a couple who are going to process and packages teas and herbs there.

• On March 21 he contacted the county sheriff and Brookville police chief asking for assistance in regulating door-to-door meat truck sales and they agreed to help.

•On March 23 a resident brought some undercooked fried chicken to the FCHD office. Fehlinger agreed it did not look done, so he contacted the manager, who assured him the meat was cooked correctly. He was to discuss the matter more fully during an April inspection.

• The sanitarian also informed food establishments about 29 food recall notifications.

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