Restaurant Report March 29

Hospitals serve food to patients, staff and visitors every day. That's why their food service is inspected just like a restaurant. After a local hospital had seven critical violations on an inspection, they say they jumped into action to get the problems fixed.

The hospital is Bon Secours St. Mary's Hospital, 5801 Bremo Road in Henrico. The hospital food service, which usually earns better scores, had 7 critical violations. Several foods, including chicken salad, sushi, and spaghetti, were not being kept at the right temperatures. And the inspector noted the pannini grills had build up.

In response, Bon Secours St. Mary's Hospital sent us the following statement:

"A recent inspection by the Virginia Department of Health found some violations of food regulations, the majority non-critical, at Bon Secours St. Mary's Hospital. Hospital leadership immediately corrected all violations, calling in additional staff to ensure a prompt and thorough response.

"St. Mary's has requested a re-inspection from the Virginia Department of Health. St. Mary's has a long history of serving safe and healthy food in our dining facilities and to our patients. We are committed to the health and wellness of our patients, staff, volunteers and community members."

Wonderland, at 1727 East Main Street in Richmond, usually has wonderful inspections, without critical violations. But this time, it had 4, including that cooked beef in the freezer was unsound. That and other violations were corrected during the inspection and Wonderland was back to zero violations on the check-up report. We left Wonderland a message, but haven't heard back.

Our call to Don Pepe, 2102 West Hundred Road in Chesterfield, also went unreturned. This Mexican restaurant had 4 critical violations. The report says the wait staff touched dirty dishes, then plates of food, without washing their hands in between. But all problems were addressed before the inspector left that day. Don Pepe had a perfect score the next time.

Talk about a string of perfect scores, try six of them for this week's NBC 12 Hall of Fame Award winner, Apple Spice Junction, 1504 East Parham Road in Henrico. Apple Spice offers a deli, catering, and boxed lunches on homemade bread. Owner Mac Purrington says perfection is hard.

Purrington tells us, "It is, it takes a lot of work, but it's daily work. We don't wait for the inspection to come around. It's a daily effort by the team."