Health code problems shut restaurant briefly

Posted: Thursday, July 27, 2000

State officials said the King Salmon Restaurant in Soldotna closed voluntarily for one day last month after failing a June 14 Department of Environmental Conservation inspection.

"We corrected all the critical items on-site and did some education with their employees. They reopened the next day," said Brad Tufto, environmental health officer for DEC in Soldotna.

Owner Jose Puentes said he has fixed the problems and asked DEC to reinspect the restaurant. Tufto said Tuesday that he has been too busy investigating the Kenai Peninsula's recent E. coli outbreak to do the reinspection. However, he hoped to do it this week.

DEC periodically inspects food service establishments. By its description, a score of 100 reflects adherence to minimum levels of sanitation. A score of 100-90 is good, 89-85 is acceptable, 84-70 is marginal. A score of less than 70 is unacceptable, and the establishment is closed until violations are corrected and a reinspection is made.

The King Salmon Restaurant scored 63 on the June 14 inspection.

"Significant items were maintaining proper food temperatures and being able to maintain proper temperatures," Tufto said. "There were employee hand-washing issues."

Specifically, the sink was blocked, so employees could not get to it, he said. In addition, the back door was unscreened and propped open, he said, though there were no flies or rodents in the restaurant.

"This gentleman was very, very cooperative during the inspection and invited me to speak with his employees after he closed the door, and to go over the critical items and their public health significance and do some employee training," Tufto said. "I respect that."

Puentes said his employees did not tell him about problems with his cooler. After the inspection, he threw out food that had been too warm and had the cooler fixed immediately. A ladder blocking the sink has been moved, he said, and the back door is closed.

"I feel like it wasn't fair what he did," Puentes said.

Other May and June inspection scores were:

Bullfeathers, Sterling 96

Kenai Central High School kitchen 95

Kenai Junior High School kitchen 98

The Hitching Post Cafe 86

Jersey Subs, Ninilchik 94

Burger King, Soldotna 87

Soldotna Middle School kitchen 99

The Bean Machine, Soldotna 99

Cooper Landing Grocery Food Service 99

The Homestead, Fritz Creek 97

The Homestead Bar, Fritz Creek 100

The Chart Room Restaurant, Homer 93

El Pescador Bar, Homer 100

El Pescador Grill, Homer 95

Fresh Sourdough Express, Homer 87

Homer Senior Citizens Center 98

Land's End Bar, Homer 93

South Peninsula Hospital, Homer 97

Captain's Restaurant, Kenai 85

Espresso Inc., Nikiski 93

Alaskan Explorer M/V, Seward 97

Bakery at the Harbor, Seward 94

Breeze Inn Bar, Seward 97

Breeze Inn Restaurant, Seward, 90

Chinooks, Seward 90

Fox Island Salmon Bake, Seward, 73

Glacier Explorer, Seward 94

Harbor Street Creamery, Seward 98

Hotel Edgewater, Seward 96

Le Barn Appetit, Seward 94

Legends of the Mountain Bar, Seward 94

Legends of the Mountain Restaurant, Seward 93

Marinas Restaurant, Seward 92

Peking Restaurant, Seward, 88

Providence Seward Medical Center 100

Railway Cantina, Seward 97

Ranting Raven, Seward 88

Resurrection Roadhouse food service, Seward, June 6, 75

Resurrection Roadhouse food service, Seward, June 30, 97

Seward Senior Citizens Center 100

Subway of Seward 90.

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