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Health Department: Phoenixville Boston Market May Have Infestation

A breakdown of Chester County's May food inspection reports.

Editor’s Note: After several readers voiced concerns about the Health Department’s reputation for using ambiguous language in these reports, Patch spoke with Corrin Howard, Chester County Environmental Health Supervisor.

Howard said that it’s unclear, from the language on the county’s website, whether there was an actual infestation in the Boston Market, or whether there were just conditions present that could, potentially, lead to an infestation.

 “We’re actually in the process of adopting a new inspection system which is what Pennsylvania uses, because [the present language in our reports can be] confusing and misleading to people. The language in the Boston Market report”–Presence of rodents/insects; harborage; breeding; outer openings not protected–”indicates anything that could lead up to a rodent infestation. A front door left open, a missing screen, holes or cracks in the building, or mouse droppings that were found in the kitchen. It doesn’t necessarily mean there is an infestation,” Howard said.

Phoenixville Patch is now in the process of acquiring the full Boston Market report. We will post it as soon as it becomes available.

The following health inspection results from May 2012 were provided by the Chester County Health Department. The full results for the county for all of 2012 are available here.

 

–Inspected on 5/30

Critical Violations:

  • Food received in unsound condition; spoilage found; food from an unapproved source
  • Food service equipment and utensils not properly washed, rinsed, sanitized
  • Food facilities not maintaining proper food temperatures

Non-Critical Violations:

  • Non-food-contact surfaces of equipment found unclean; improperly maintained
  • Floors/walls/ceilings found unclean, in disrepair
  • Garbage and refuse containers not covered; inadequate number; not vector-proof
  • Plumbing leaks or disrepair found

 

–Inspected on 5/24

Critical Violations:

  • Food did not meet temperature requirements
  • Presence of rodents/insects; harborage; breeding; outer openings not protected

Non-Critical Violations:

  • Thermometers not provided
  • Non-food-contact surfaces of equipment found unclean; improperly maintained
  • Food service equipment improperly stored & handled
  • Floors/walls/ceilings not smooth, easily cleanable, non-absorbent
  • Garbage and refuse containers not covered; inadequate number; not vector-proof
  • Plumbing leaks or disrepair found

 

Loyal Order of Moose–Inspected on 5/30

No Violations

 

–Inspected on 5/17

Critical Violations:

  • Food did not meet temperature requirements
  • Restroom or handwashing facilities not provided, accessible

Non-Critical Violations:

  • Food containers improperly labeled
  • Food service equipment improperly stored & handled
  • Dishwashing facilities improperly designed, constructed, maintained
  • Food service equipment does not meet current general standards

 

–Inspected on 5/7

No Violations

 

Phoenix Grille–Inspected on 5/22

Critical Violations:

  • Food not protected from contamination/cross contamination

Non-Critical Violations:

  • Food containers improperly labeled
  • Non-food-contact surfaces of equipment found unclean; improperly maintained
  • Food service equipment does not meet current general standards

 

–Inspected on 5/30

Critical Violations:

  • Food facilities not maintaining proper food temperatures

Non-Critical Violations:

  • Restrooms/Handwashing facilities found unclean; not provided with necessary supplies
  • Single-service items being re-used; improper handling; improper storage
  • Food service equipment improperly stored & handled
  • Dishwashing facilities improperly designed, constructed, maintained

 

–Inspected on 5/3

Critical Violations:

  • Poisonous and toxic materials improperly used, stored, labeled; not separated from food

 

–Inspected on 5/3

Critical Violations:

  • Food not protected from contamination/cross contamination

Non-Critical Violations: 

  • Food-contact surfaces of equipment found unclean; in disrepair; not easily cleanable
  • Food service equipment does not meet current general standards
  • Floors/walls/ceilings found unclean, in disrepair
  • Light fixtures unshielded
  • Premises found unclean; unnecessary items found on premises

 

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David Curran June 12, 2012 at 06:52 PM
Yikes, what do you say we eat in tonight Honey?
Disgusted in Phoenixville June 12, 2012 at 07:11 PM
Gross! I just ate at boston market! It doesnt surprise me though, not only is the staff incredibly rude, they leave food sitting out and use the same.serving spoons for all the sides, and the girl serving me picked my.chicken up with her hand. And I do love foresta's but you walk in there and the place is just filthy. I used to work there and I have seen the butchering area, its the reason I DO NOT buy meat, from the ONLY meat market in phoenixville. also, one of the young girls that work there used a spoon, scooped vegetable primavera out of the dish, tried it & stuck the used spoon back in to get another bite. I work at one of the best private country clubs in pennsylvania, Rivercrest, and the chefs and managing staff is brutal on us about food safety, expiration dates, and cleaning. Honestly, I spend more time cleaning than serving. Just bc the members pay hundreds of thousands a year just to be able to walk in the club doors. We are very safe and clean there. But not everyone can afford a club membership, like myself, and we should be able to go out to eat without worrying about rodents and unsafe food conditions. This truly pisses me off bc if it werent for the customers the LAZY employees wouldnt even.have a job. Get off your asses and clean up. You work in fast food, for goodness sakes! I really hope at least one employee reads this.
Joe Phoenix June 12, 2012 at 07:45 PM
UGH! I just ate at Boston Market too. I wish I had seen this earlier. Can I sue for any potential poisoning? Forresta's too?! Well I guess I won't be getting my meats there anymore. It is a shame that these kind of reports could potentially shutter a business but we need to know. So, I hope they take these kind of things seriously and clean up their acts.
Laura Schwartz June 12, 2012 at 08:18 PM
As a regular at Pat's Pizza, I can only vouch for how good their food is and how hard I see their management and staff working.
Jaxxon June 12, 2012 at 08:28 PM
Thanks for posting. I'm with NYC's general idea of requiring restaurants to post these reviews so they are easily seen by passers-by. No doubt that would compel greater compliance.
Matt Hallacker June 12, 2012 at 08:52 PM
actually, I worked at pat's pizza, and couldnt stay because the "hard working management" would use week old, crusty pizza dough, but more than that the owner and manager smoke cigarettes and cigars WHILE making your food! Gross and uncalled for. I call bs on people that charge six times what the food is worth, then actually work hard to TRY and contaminate your food!
ChrisForesta June 12, 2012 at 09:17 PM
I have no problem that these reports are made available to the public (I actually think it is a great idea), but the public needs to be informed on how these reports work. The inspection sheet is a checklist of pre-written violations. The pre-written violations are a very GENERAL AND NON DESCRIPTIVE representation of what the actual violation may be. I am going to speak for my family's business, Foresta's Market. Only one R in the name by the way Tom. Critical Violation: Food not protected from contamination/cross contamination ---Sounds horrible I know, but in our situation we had a large can of pickles that was opened, then wrapped in plastic wrap and put back into our storage fridge. This falls under the critical violation. We now have buckets with snap down lids. So if any of you after cooking dinner, wrap your leftovers in a plastic wrap or tinfoil... you just got a critical violation for possible contamination.
ChrisForesta June 12, 2012 at 09:17 PM
Non-Critical Violations: Food-contact surfaces of equipment found unclean; in disrepair; not easily cleanable - We had a plastic shelf in a freezer, it needed to be a NSF approved metal shelf. The shelf has been replaced. Food service equipment does not meet current general standards - I believe this one was about shelving too but I will have to go back and look at our written report. Floors/walls/ceilings found unclean, in disrepair - The kitchen has a tiled floor, one of the tiles is cracked and needs to be replaced. Light fixtures unshielded - A light bulb was recently replaced in the produce case and the plastic tube was damaged when replacing. A new cover has been installed. Premises found unclean; unnecessary items found on premises - We bought a display case from a grocery store that recently closed down, it is out back of the store and not in use. Thus, unnecessary items found on premises. We scored an 89 out of 100. We have complained to our inspectors and health department that they need to find a better way to make the information available to the public. They need to include the actual comments of the inspector that tell what the real violation was. These broad descriptions do much more harm than good to an unknowing reader .
Tom Sunnergren June 12, 2012 at 09:32 PM
My apologies on the misspelling Chris. And thanks for the explanation.
KRIS KRONMULLER June 12, 2012 at 11:32 PM
GOOD JOB CHRIS.
Disgusted in Phoenixville June 13, 2012 at 01:19 AM
to clarify, there is 4 restaurants on site that report is for the Greenhouse Grill and I work on the ala carte and banquet restaurant. We post our reports in the restaurant and bars and this year the only thing the ala carte restaurant failed for was the dishwashing facility being improperly designed which is currently under construction. another reason they need to be more specific with these reports, our greenhouse restaurant/snack bar failed, not the actual club house. I can also vouch for the uncleanliness of forestas, I did work there about 7 years ago and never saw the fridges or floors being cleaned out once in the 8 months I worked there before leaving for college. Also, how can you make an excuse for the blonde girl with a very bad attitude that works behind the deli who double dipped a spoon in the vegetables? I was 1 of 4 people who saw. Either way, I did work there as well and I know just how dirty the fridge, upstairs and floors are. Plus I am a almost daily customer.
Disgusted in Phoenixville June 13, 2012 at 01:25 AM
Oh an also, the end of my.original comment was directed at boston market, with the lazy employees and all...forestas isnt fast food. And I said I love forestas, your deli selection is amaxing and I eat from there regularly. Im just saying, the place is dirty...u cant deny it needs an update. And a few of the younger girls in there need an attitude adjustment.
Bill N. June 13, 2012 at 02:05 AM
Th Chester County health inspection categories are extrememly general and cover several possible issues instead of being descriptive & informative, such as the ratings for MontCo. ChesCo's system is just a bit more detailed than a 'pass/fail' scale and should be revamped to provide the details of the inspection. As for Foresta's, I've been shopping there for years and I'll continue to do so for many more years to come.
David Boelker June 13, 2012 at 10:53 AM
This headline is defamatory. This is lazy, sensationalist journalism. There is a HUGE difference between retelling/repackaging of the facts of publicly available information, and pasting the word "Infestation" in a headline. Very irresponsible. You just lost a reader. I would expect you to hear from Boston Market's lawyers.
Kevin R Pound June 13, 2012 at 10:55 AM
Chris and Jamie, thanks for explaining the inspection process from the merchant's side. Having spent many years (many years ago) in the restaurant business, I know how difficult it is to fully comply with Health Departments and their codes. Articles like this with sensational headlines that simply cut-and-paste reports with no background or investigation not only mislead the public but also cast a bad light on otherwise compliant establishments. It's just lazy journalism.
David Curran June 13, 2012 at 11:57 AM
Given the fact that so many establishments were not in compliance I would take this report with a grain of salt. My problem with the report is that it did not include all food service businesses. Without the reports from all FS establishments it does seem unfair to drop a bomb on the ones that were listed. My family has been going to Forestas for over 10 years, and will continue to do so (never had a problem)
P-villian June 13, 2012 at 02:28 PM
For the report you just posted. "Facility is currently not open, Clean and sanitize all food contact utensils and equipment before not use." My friends son works at Rivercrest, and I know that he and all the other chefs, cooks, and employees take their jobs very seriously. Like disgusted said the executive chefs drill it in to their heads about how their stations should be and to keep them clean. Read below for explanation of each violation they had. 1 - CFSM past due, Facility has 5 business days to submit a completed reciprocity application to MCHD. 14 - Slicer not clean, Clean and sanitize before next use. 34 - Thermometer lacking in the salad bar well. provide 47 - Filters above cooking area not clean, clean immd. 47 - Vent in the kitchen not clean. Heavy dust build-up. Clean immd. 49 - Air gap lacking, soda fountain ice machine. Provide proper air gap immd 52 - Dumpster lids open at the time of the inspection. Close immd And this was for a facility that was closed!!!!! So let's you and other facilities worry about yourselves instead of pointing the finger at others as a distraction.
Aloysius June 13, 2012 at 03:26 PM
I as well can vouch for River Crests cleanliness. I worked there for 3 years. Even though I am not currently working there I make frequent visits to see my dear friends and my significant other. I've worked at several food serous industries and River Crest, by far, has the best staff AND cleanest kitchens! P-villian said in a previous post that they were not open at the time of that inspection which is true. That part of the facility isn't open year round. Also as Disgusted said about the management and Chefs being brutal about food safety is 100% true. They take their jobs seriously and expect their staff too as well. Ms Foresta... I find it very unprofessional and immature to point an ugly finger at a facility you obviously know little to nothing about. Remove the splinter from your own eye before you worry about the speck in anothers. River Crest is an amazing place.
ChrisForesta June 13, 2012 at 05:13 PM
I had no ill intentions to make Rivercrest look bad. A current employee of Rivercrest made a post with allegations against my business then went on to compare it to Rivercrest. I only wanted to show the Rivercrest employee ("Disgusted in Phoenixville") how these reports can make an establishment look. I understand you wanting to stand up for your establishment, but I was just sticking up for mine. I will remove the post with Rivercrest's Health Report because I can see Rivercrest employee's are not understanding my reason for posting it.
Aloysius June 13, 2012 at 06:12 PM
I understand sticking up for you business. As you have a cracked floor tile, unused cooler etc... River Crest had a (part time) closed building. Six of one, half a dozen of the other. I know the inspectors can get you on silly things. I just wasn't to fond of your approach. I appreciate you taking down the post though. I'm off to have dinner with my family. Maybe we will get some deli meats and potato salad and have a picnic. As long as there isn't a miserable blonde serving us. Costumer service is right next to cleanliness. Have a good day.
rajin' cajin' June 13, 2012 at 11:49 PM
I feel like some of these comments have gotten off topic. Jenny D. Your comments that named the girl personally was out of line. If it is that much of a problem the appropriate action would be to bring it to the attention of management. The girl had nothing to do with the health department article.
Tom Sunnergren June 14, 2012 at 02:50 AM
Thanks for the comments guys (we love the spirited conversation) but , fyi, a few of your remarks had to be yanked for violating our terms of service.
Tom Sunnergren June 14, 2012 at 03:12 PM
After you guys voiced some concerns about ambiguous language in these health reports, I talked to Corrin Howard, Chester County Environmental Health Supervisor, about the Boston Market report. Here’s what she said: “We’re actually in the process of adopting a new inspection system which is what Pennsylvania uses, because [the present language in our reports can be] confusing and misleading to people. The language in the Boston Market report”–Presence of rodents/insects; harborage; breeding; outer openings not protected–”indicates anything that could lead up to a rodent infestation. A front door left open, a missing screen, holes or cracks in the building, or mouse droppings that were found in the kitchen. It doesn’t necessarily mean there is an infestation.” Phoenixville Patch is now in the process of accessing the full Boston Market report. We will, hopefully, post it later today.
Bob June 14, 2012 at 04:29 PM
We have bought many items, including meat, from Forestas and will continue to do so in the future as the quality is first rate. We love that market. We have also eaten in a number of the restaurants on this list and haven't had one ill effect. Some reactions here seems a bit out of proportion to the actual facts.
nick June 14, 2012 at 04:43 PM
Tom, I want to thank you for spending more time in finding and reporting the whole truth. I know Chris and myself only wish to educate or enlighten the consumer about the other side of your story. No ill intentions were meant to fly, but there are many hard working people trying to bring this community great food finds. A little negative press can be very damaging and hurt alot of small business owners. Please continue to research the real truth before posting these headlines. Thank you.
Tom Sunnergren June 15, 2012 at 04:47 PM
Just wanted to let you guys know that we haven't forgotten about this story. We've evidently struck a sort of bureaucratic tangle with the Chesco Health Department, and I am still waiting for the complete Boston Market report.
Megan Inmon July 06, 2012 at 01:09 PM
I agree, I love Pats Pizza! We order from there all the time and their pizza is great!
Tom Sunnergren July 11, 2012 at 07:30 PM
Okay gang: we've finally gotten some information back from the county on what exactly happened here. http://phoenixville.patch.com/articles/health-dept-gives-boston-market-clean-bill-of-health Long story short: there were three dead roaches found on the premises, but the problem has been addressed.
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