When I was researching health inspections in Juneau for a Sunday centerpiece I did about a month ago (http://juneauempire.com/local/2014-02-02/food-and-safety), I had a difficult time getting hard and fast numbers on Juneau's most common health violations, and the most notorious repeat offenders. (My sources with the state were hesitant to tell me, for example, where they would and would not recommend consumers dine in Juneau. The best I could get was that if a restaurant is deemed unsafe, it is closed. However, in my own reading of hundreds of health inspection reports from recent years, I noticed the same restaurants were often breaking the same rules time and time again.)
I was also unable to get a list of complaints filed against Juneau restaurants. State Environmental Health Officer Jim Moore said he was unable to provide that information "due to the fact that the complaints we receive are 'alleged' and not always confirmed after the investigation due to different factors. Also, sensitive complainant information must be kept secure. However, we try to pinpoint what could be going wrong in a food establishment during our visits and work with the operators to change procedures or place additional controls, in order to prevent future complaints or (foodborne illnesses)."
The information below came to me from Moore after my story published, but I wanted to make sure it saw the light of day, so I decided to put it up here.
Top Juneau health inspection violations between 1/1/2009 and 1/28/2014
Food-contact surfaces properly cleaned and sanitized 223
Hand washing facilities supplied and accessible 220
Food worker cards for all food workers 165
Warewashing facilities installed, maintained and used; test kits provided and used 132
Certified food protection manager on staff 100
Physical facilities installed, maintained and clean 82
Hands cleaned and properly washed 81
Toxic substances properly identified, stored and used 58
Of the list, Moore said: "Please remember that we focus our inspections on the five risk factors that attribute to foodborne illnesses (FBI) which includes – improper food holding temperatures, poor personal hygiene, inadequate cooking, contaminated equipment, food from unsafe sources."
Most common complaints in Juneau and surrounding communities (Yakutat, Gustavus, Elfin Cove, Pelican, Excursion Inlet, Haines, Skagway, and Hoonah)
Want to view health inspection reports online? Follow my easy guides:
How to find a health inspection report: http://juneauempire.com/local/2014-02-03/how-find-health-inspection-report
How to read a health inspection report: http://juneauempire.com/local/2014-02-03/how-read-health-inspection-report