RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Have you brought home-made snacks or a dessert to share with students at your child's school? That's actually a critical violation! It was a lesson a school learned the hard way in this Restaurant Report.
"It did come as a surprise," said Richmond Public Schools spokeswoman Felicia Cosby.
The surprise was at Capital City Program, a Richmond Public School for at-risk students, when some mentors brought home-made foods for students the same day the health inspector arrived to check the cafeteria.
"Our mentors were celebrating some character development and some positive behavior changes they were seeing. So they decided to celebrate it with the students and bring in food," said Cosby.
The State Health Department says any kitchen they regulate cannot serve food made at home.
"Our concern is that the restaurant has necessary equipment and the people have the necessary training to produce food safely," explained Gary Hagy, Director of the Health Department's Division of Food and Environmental Services.
Now the district is changing policies.
"We've asked that our staff and our mentors stay away from bringing in food items. So if they want to have a celebratory party, that they use our catering service instead," said Cosby.
Schools can still have celebrations if foods are from regulated restaurants, grocery stores, or made by trained cafeteria staff.
And there is an exception. Charities, such as school booster clubs and cheerleading squads, can sell homemade foods at fundraisers.
"There is an exemption in the code for charitable organizations that do occasional fundraisers, preparing baked goods, non potentially hazardous baked goods, cookies, brownies," said Hagy.
Capital City Program corrected all violations during the inspection.
Moving to Henrico, Captain D's Seafood at 4800 Williamsburg Road had 10 critical violations, including that the slicing board on the sandwich line was very dirty and that a mouse was in the kitchen. The manager says the restaurant receives regular pest control services and that their serviceman found no signs of any mice, the little guy was from outside. All violations were corrected for a perfect score on the re-inspection 3 days later.
And in Richmond, Yum Restaurant at 406 Cowardin Avenue had 4 critical violations. The report says fried rice was cold holding at improper temperatures. Violations were corrected during the inspection. The restaurant declined to be interviewed for our report.
Viewers often ask us why some food preparers don't have to wear gloves? We asked an expert to show us when the gloves go on, and when they can come off. We'll show you what we discovered Friday at 5:00 p.m. on NBC12.