January 28: Restaurant Report

By Heather Sullivan - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Many restaurants tell me they welcome state health inspections because that's how they learn to do things right. That's exactly what a new restaurant tells me. They say as soon as a problem was pointed out, they fixed it and learned from it.

You could say Mama J wants to feed everyone. After catering for years, she opened Mama J's restaurant at 415 North First Street in Richmond to serve up her southern home cooking. Said Thelma "Mama J" Johnson, "Our catfish, our ribs and crab cakes and pork chops, oh yeah the pork chops!"

What's left over she donates to the homeless and seniors. "Our motto is we throw nothing in the trash. We feed the homeless and seniors. I've been feeding seniors at my church for years."

Mama J's restaurant had four critical violations on its last inspection. But Mama J says they welcome the critique, "We corrected them as soon as we learned from them, so it was a good thing."

She says staff was retrained on hand washing, a new dishwasher helps sanitize, and they reorganized the fridge to keep food at the right temperature and stored safely. Said Mama J, "We've come in and put labels on our refrigerator as to what needs to be on what shelf. That is still another learning process for us, but now we have labels on the refrigerator."

All violations were corrected during the inspection and the restaurant had a perfect score on its previous inspection.

In Chesterfield, Subway at 4533 Commonwealth Centre Parkway had four critical violations. The report says the restaurant stored some beverages on the floor or less than six inches above the floor. We contacted the restaurant but did not hear back. A follow-up report is not yet available.

Also in Chesterfield, Lin's Garden Restaurant at 4201 Beulah Road had four critical violations. The report says a take out cup without a handle was being used to serve rice and that bare hand contact with the cup can be transferred to the rice. All critical violations were corrected in a follow-up inspection. The restaurant declined to comment.

This week's NBC 12 Hall of Fame Award goes to Little Caesars at 10220 Hull Street Road in Chesterfield. This pizza place has served up perfect scores on its last eight health inspections.

"Our focus here at Little Caesars is the customer, daily cleanliness, and the overall look of the restaurant. What we do is continually train our crew to help us clean," said manager Jeff Ward.

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