Top 10 food-handling violations in Snohomish County

This is a list of the top 10 food handling violations found by the Snohomish Health District during restaurant inspections in 2012. The number of each violation found during inspections is in parenthesis. Health officials say many of these same problems can cause food-borne illness when cooking at home.

1. Hand washing. These include not having a supply of paper towels for workers to dry their hands on each time they wash their hands, or employees not washing their hands after handling raw fish, meat or poultry before helping to prepare other food. (432 violations)

2. Cold holding. Not storing refrigerated food at or below 41 degrees. (401 violations)

3. Food worker cards. Employees couldn’t show that they had completed the course on safe food handling during routine restaurant inspections. (283 violations)

4. Non-food contact surfaces not clean. (203 violations)

5. Food preparation surfaces not adequately cleaned (193 violations)

6. Floors walls and ceilings not maintained and cleaned (177 violations)

7. Improper cooling of hot foods to 41 degrees within six hours. (169 violations)

8. Improper hot holding, food not kept at 140 degrees or warmer (148 violations)

9. Inadequate room temperature storage. Food found on the counter with no one monitoring the temperature of the food. (131 violations)

10. Potential food contamination, such as open containers in a storage room or other problems. (117 violations)

Source: Snohomish Health District

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