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By TRAVIS WEIK - tweik@thecouriertimes.com

The Environmental Public Health Office of the Henry County Health Department conducted five routine, two complaint and two follow-up inspections during the first week of November. County inspectors identified nine critical violations and six non-critical violations during that time period.

Unless there is an immediate risk to public health and safety, Indiana regulations give business owners 10 days to review food inspection reports before releasing them to the public.

Hardee’s in New Castle had one non-critical violation during a routine inspection Nov. 5. The bun toaster had food debris build up and the french fry bin/heat lamp was soiled.

Kroger J-920 and Fuel Center in New Castle had one critical violation during a routine inspection Nov. 5. Two hand sinks were blocked and not easily accessible.

Park Restaurant in New Castle had two critical and five non-critical violations during a routine inspection Nov. 5. Henry County health inspectors found a pan of raw beef steaks stored over a pan of baked potatoes in a walk-in cooler, as well as several containers of food in the walk-in cooler, freezer and dry storage without the required protective cover.

A plastic cup was being used as a scoop and did not have an attached handle. There was debris on the interior of reach-in coolers and freezers, grease buildup on the exhaust hood and a black, mold-like substance on the interior of the ice bin. The pan above the dish machine was also soiled.

The hand sink in the prep area was blocked and a sink in the waitress station was used as a dump sink. The wall next to the waitress station hand sink was also soiled and damaged. Ceiling tiles were damaged or missing in the back area. There was trash on the floor under cooking equipment and the restroom door was soiled.

Subway in New Castle had zero violations during a complaint inspection Nov. 5. The health department received a complaint about the facility’s lettuce. No violations were observed.

McDonald’s in New Castle had five critical violations during a complaint/follow-up inspection Nov. 5. No hot water had been provided to the establishment since Nov. 4. The Henry County Health Department had given the restaurant permission to operate with a temporary method of washing hands. During the follow-up inspection, there was still no hot water or any method of washing provided other than cold water.

McDonald’s was cited for employees still washing their hands with cold water and for failing to follow the recommendations to set up a way to heat water and a temporary hand sink. According to the inspection report, the manager and one person in charge “completely disregarded” the Henry County Health Department requirements listed or verbally relayed Nov. 4.

Henry County health inspectors gave McDonald’s until 3 p.m. Nov. 5 to repair hot water.

McDonald’s in New Castle had one critical violation during a follow-up inspection Nov. 5. The hot water heater had been replaced and two of the three hand sinks were operable in the food prep area. The third hand sink was scheduled to be operable within 24 hours. The Henry County Health Department said the restaurant could reopen.

McDonald’s in New Castle had no violations during a follow-up inspection Nov. 7. The previous hand sink violations had been corrected prior to the inspection.

New Castle Shell in New Castle had two non-critical violations during a routine inspection Nov. 7. There were no test strips available for the sanitizing solution and the ice chute was observed soiled with a mold-like substance. 

As of Friday, KFC in New Castle had no food-related violations.

According to the Indiana State Health Department (ISHD), critical violations are “more likely than other violations to significantly contribute to food contamination, illness or environmental health hazard.” Restaurant operators are required by law to correct critical violations at the time of inspection, unless the health inspector agrees to a longer time frame to correct more complex issues.

For more information on local restaurant inspection reports, visit the health department at 1201 Race St., Suite 208, New Castle, or call 765-521-7056.

To view an online copy of the Indiana Retail Food Establishment Sanitation Requirements, visit www.henryco.net/HealthDeptEnviroPublic.aspx.