September 23: Restaurant Report

By Heather Sullivan - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A cafe in a grocery store chain known for high quality is in this week's Restaurant Report. They say they stepped up their checks and balances to make sure it doesn't happen again.

It's a popular lunch spot, the cafe inside Martin's Food Market at 3460 Pump Road in Henrico. The favorite dishes, said Martin's Regional Vice President Jim Scanlon, "Our panini sandwiches, the chefs' case itself, as well as the Ukrop's homestyle foods, an assortment of entrees. But paninis and pizza and fried chicken sell like crazy."

The Martin's cafes usually get good scores on state health inspections. They keep someone on staff who makes sure things are done right. But 4 critical violations popped up at the cafe on Pump Road, including that fresh tomato was being cut with bare hands.

Scanlon says all violations were immediately corrected and food preparers always wear gloves when needed. He added, "As well as additional steps after that to go back through on the retraining with all the associates, an appropriate coaching and counseling process. We've taken care of all of that as well as stepped up our follow up to make sure this doesn't happen again."

Scanlon says temperatures are constantly monitored to make sure foods are hot enough or cold enough to stay safe. "We have time intervals where we go and check-in and actually physically take the temperature of those products," he said.

Scanlon says not only will customers notice the cafes are clean, but they're still run by the same former Ukrop's staff. "It is the same people. A lot of our folks have had 30 to 40 years of experience in Richmond."

And in Richmond, Colonial Downs at 6502 Hull Street Road had 5 critical violations. According to the consume-by-date, chili and grill chicken should have been thrown out 3 days earlier. Violations were corrected on the spot. A follow-up report is not yet available. We contacted Colonial Downs, but did not receive comment.

This week's NBC 12 Hall of Fame Award goes to Osaka Sushi at 5023 Huguenot Road in Henrico. Said manager Mike Hinerman, " It works from the top down. The owners, it's a priority for them, mainly because of the type of food we serve here, the sushi and the raw fish."

Hinerman credits the perfect scores to the health department offering a Safe Serve class in Mandarin so that his Chinese speaking employees could attend.