food inspections

Franklin County Health Department sanitarian David Fehlinger inspected 51 retail food establishments in 2019’s third quarter.

Eight inspections or 15.7% had critical violations along with at least one noncritical finding. The problems, if not corrected, could sicken customers. That percent is worse than the 11.8% of C’s in the second quarter, and the first quarter’s 12.2%. The most impressive figure in recent history was 6.3% in 2018’s fourth quarter.

For the second quarter in a row, McDonald’s, Brookville, had critical findings. Fehlinger discovered mouse dropping in the lobby soda dispenser cabinet, which had to be corrected immediately, and small flies in the storage area. The owner was given one day to get rid of the insects. The other establishment with two major dings was Country Mark, Brookville. The sandwich cooler’s temperature was 55 degrees, much warmer than the required 41 degrees or less, which had to be fixed immediately. Store owners also were given three days to purchase a new microwave to replace one with a rusty and chipping interior.

The sanitarian went to Hav-A-Bite, Metamora Aug. 26, 2019, after a complaint of spoiled orange juice “with green things floating in it.” He reported the juice’s expiration date was still good and the containers he inspected had no floaters. However, Fehlinger did find a serious problem that day: The walk-in cooler was holding at 51 degrees, 10 degrees warmer that it should have been.

The other issues: mouse droppings — on the floor, shelves and ledges at Duck Creek Fudge Shop & Restaurant, Metamora, and in a cupboard below the tea brewing machine at Subway, Brookville; moldy ice machine interiors at Big Boyz Pizza and Pavey’s Phillips 66, Brookville, and Laurel Cafe.

Subway also had three NC’s: dirty soda nozzles and soda machine splash area; refuse around the dumpster, on the hillside and adjacent areas; and waste receptacle does not have tight-fitting lid to keep out pests.

In a rare move, business manager Jodi Browning’s response was stapled to Fehlinger’s report. Browning wrote that she cleaned the pop nozzles, splash area and window sills the same day as the inspection, July 5, 2019. “I took everything out of the cabinet below the tea brewer. I could not find any evidence of mice, but cleaned the cabinet’s flat surfaces anyway.” The manager reported the dumpster problem to her district manager three days later and said, “Our company is taking care of it.” Browning added, “Sanitizer water is changed after every batch of dishes or more often.” The ceiling tiles and all handles were cleaned July 10.

Fourteen food establishments had noncritical problems – not quite as worrisome, but they still had to be corrected either immediately or soon. That accounted for 27.4% in the third quarter, more than 7.8%, 24.5% and 20.8% in the three previous quarters.

Four spots had three NC’s. Batesville China Buffet was written up for a dirty microwave above sushi, rear screen door that couldn’t keep out pests and grease dripping from the ventilation hood. The others were in Brookville: Food Mart, El Reparo and IGA.

Four nearby eateries had two problems each. In Batesville, Pizza Hut had a moldy walk-in cooler door, frame and gasket and pizza prep and wing cooler frames; Pizza King workers did not wear hair restraints around exposed food and the kitchen had dust on ceiling tiles and vents; and there were dirty drive-thru soda nozzles and grease dripping from the ventilation hood at Wendy’s. In Oldenburg, Brau Haus had the same grease mistake plus dirty two-door cooler fan covers. Three more places had two issues: Pavey’s One Stop, Laurel; 52 Pik-up and Lin’s China House, Brookville.

Wagner’s Village Inn, Oldenburg, earned one NC for dirty soda dispensing wands. Two in Metamora had one ding apiece: Hav-A-Bite (during a July 23 regular inspection before the complaint) and Pizza King.

About 56.9% percent of the sites inspected – 29 locations – excelled in the reports with the sanitarian writing “no violations noted.” That’s not quite as great as the 80.4% and 63.3% in 2019’s earlier quarters, though.

The Batesville spots that were flawless were Dollar General, Izzy’s Catering, Kroger, Margaret Mary Physician Center, McDonald’s, St. Mary’s Tavern, Subway and Sure Stay Plus by Best Western. Kessing Haus Cafe and Pearl Street Pub were perfect in Oldenburg.

The rest: Fireside Inn, Enochsburg; D&N Diner, Haspin Acres, One-Stop Marathon, Pizza Station and Treehugger Maple Syrup, Laurel; Arby’s, Brookville Ice Co., Coffee Off Main, Dollar General, Family Dollar, Kohlsdorf Catering, Lakeside Shell, The Store in St. Peters and Third Place, Brookville; Beebe Marathon and Cedar Grove Tavern, Cedar Grove.

No violations were noted either at two bed-and-breakfasts that were inspected during the quarter: Hickory Road Inn, Batesville; and Metamora Inn.

Debbie Blank can be contacted at or 812-717-3113.

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