Food safety infractions at hospital, grocery store, resort

By Scott Costen

Five Queens County establishments received notices to comply from provincial food safety inspectors last month. A sixth establishment corrected an issue during the course of its inspection.

Most of the noted infractions appear to be relatively minor.

According to a provincial spokesman, the number of violations in Queens are within provincial norms. “The rate of deficiencies provincial inspections have noted at Queens County facilities is, on average, similar to the rate in other areas of the province,” Bruce Nunn told the Observer by email. He dismissed the suggestion inspections have become more stringent in recent months. “No, there has been no change to specific enforcement criteria or inspection methodologies.”

Queens General Hospital in Liverpool was given two notices to comply following a Nov. 14 inspection. It was cited for “inadequate food contact surfaces” and a flooring issue. The hospital was instructed to resurface a “stained” wooden counter in the baking area. It was also told to repair the flooring near a dishwasher.

“The issues noted from the Nov. 14 inspection were immediately actioned,” Michelle McLean, food services director with the Nova Scotia Health Authority, wrote in an email provided to the Observer. “The wooden counter is not in use and the section of flooring requiring non-slip resurfacing is awaiting repair … Food safety is always our number one concern.”

White Point Beach Resort also received two notices to comply, one for “failure to maintain equipment and surfaces in good repair” and the other for “failure to provide sanitary conditions of non-food contact surfaces.” The report from the Nov. 19 inspection directs the resort to resurface a cutting board so that is it “smooth, non-absorbent and easily cleanable.” It also orders the cleaning of ceiling vents in the food preparation area to remove “dust & debris.”

White Point’s marketing manager did not respond to email and voicemail requests for comment.

Golden Pond Restaurant in Liverpool received three notices to comply following its Nov. 14. inspection, including “failure to provide approved containers for food.” This notice pertained to the use of a garbage can to store sugar. “Garbage can is not a food grade container,” the inspection report said.

The restaurant was instructed to use a food grade container for the sugar, clean the compressor fan and grates in its walk-in cooler, and refinish its chest freezer covers and some wooden shelves.

The Golden Pond’s Harry Wong said the issues have been addressed. “All have already been corrected,” he told the Observer in a social media message. “During the inspection, sometimes we will get 100 per cent marks, sometimes we will get 97 per cent like this one.”

Liverpool Superstore also received three notices to comply following a Nov. 14 inspection. Its issues pertained to the construction and maintenance of flooring, storage racks and a wooden wall in the produce section. The store was ordered to repair broken and missing floor tiles, resurface storage grates and finish the unsealed wooden wall.

Loblaw media relations did not respond to a request for comment.

Motel Transcotia in Brooklyn received one notice to comply Nov. 14 for “inadequate” storage facilities. It was told to “resurface shelving in food preparation area where bare wood is exposed…”

Motel owner Derinda Sparkes said there was a portion of her kitchen’s preparation island that needed attention. “There was a small spot that needed paint and that was it,” she told the Observer. “All she asked me to do was paint it and that’s done.”

The Mersey Grill in Liverpool was also inspected Nov. 14, during which one violation was corrected. The report from that day notes, “Food handler had no protective hair covering. Protective hair covering to be used going forward.”

“As noted, the infraction was corrected immediately,” the Grill’s Jaimee Critch told the Observer. “It was nice to get the recognition of how we keep our facility up to code.”

The following establishments passed their inspections last month without any noted deficiencies:

  • Best Western Liverpool (Nov. 13);
  • Memories Cafe & Eatery (Nov. 14);
  • North Queens Community School (Nov. 19);
  • Quarterdeck Beachside Villas & Grill (Nov. 19).

NOTE: This story has been updated to include comments from the Nova Scotia Health Authority.