February 2 Restaurant Report

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - When you send your parents to an elder care home, you hope it's clean and safe. The kitchens in retirement homes are checked by state health inspectors, just like any other restaurant. Usually, local retirement homes earn good scores. But this time, one received six critical violations.

It's the O'Brien Home for the Elderly, North, at 3401 Chamberlayne Avenue in Richmond. The inspection report says dead or trapped mice were behind the refrigerator in the basement, and a live roach and roach feces were in the cabinets. On a follow-up visit 10 days later, the inspector noted a roach crawling across the stove. When we called, a woman who said she was the manager declined to comment for our report. But all problems were cleaned up, no pests reported, when an inspector came back a third time.

Our next stop is the popular European bistro, Belle Vie, at 1244 Alverser Drive in Chesterfield, which has scored well on previous state health inspections. But it had 4 critical violations on a recent inspection. The inspector wrote there was no monitoring of food temperatures, cold or hot. Belle Vie had zero violations, and a new thermometer, on a re-inspection a week later.

Belle Vie Owner Yves Danis sent us this statement regarding the state health inspector:

"All violations were corrected immediately or within the time frame requested. Notwithstanding 2.5 years of perfect inspections, Belle Vie is questioning the motivation, inconsistencies and nitpicking of this last inspection performed by an individual who openly admitted the wrecking motives for her mission. We can only assume this is all due to our rapidly growing reputation for remarkable cuisine, cleanliness and professionalism."

In response, Gary Hagy, Director of the Health Department's Division of Food and Environmental Services, sent us the following statement:

"Department of Health Environmental Health Specialists conduct unbiased inspections of restaurants on a routine basis.   A restaurant's operation is evaluated against the standards contained in the regulations.  Any discrepancies found during an inspection are brought to the attention of the operator or the person in charge at the time of the inspection and discussed with them to ensure they understand the problems and the recommended corrective actions.  If the owner or operator has any questions regarding the inspection, he/she can raise them during the exit interview or can contact the environmental health manager or local health director to discuss the issue.  Likewise, if the owner or operator has any concerns regarding the conduct or judgment of the environmental health specialist he/she can contact either the environmental health manager or local health director to discuss the matter."

And finally, in Henrico, Greek 4 U at 10620 Patterson Avenue had 4 critical violations. The report says eggs were left out at room temperature. Violations were corrected during the inspection and it earned a perfect score the next time.

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