Unclean conditions, failing to keep food at the proper temperature and unsafe equipment.
These are some of the Manitoba Health charges against some Brandon and Westman restaurants — posted in the latest Health Protection Report.
The report, which includes convictions and closures is updated regularly and posted online at www.gov.mb.ca/health.
“It’s to let the public know,” said Mike LeBlanc, Manitoba’s chief public health inspector. “It’s not to re-punish them or anything, we’re careful not to do that. We just want to make the public know about it and to be open and transparent with these sorts of things.”
Brandon’s Burger King on 18th Street was fined $299.65 in May for failing to ensure the floor is well maintained.
“For convictions, it’s usually something that we’ve given a warning on before,” LeBlanc said. “We’ll try to work with them, but sometimes … enough’s enough, and we … turn the pressure up a bit.”
Burger King manager Amanda Glesby said they are still working on a floor upgrade.
“We’re … in the midst of trying to get a quote to get certain things fixed,” she said. “But it is in the works, it is doing better.”
Wok Box on 18th Street was fined $203.80 in April for failing to avoid contamination — specifically, failing to store wiping cloths in a sanitizing solution.
“It’s not a minor one, but it should be an easy one to fix,” LeBlanc said. “We ask them to take wiping cloths and keep it stored in a sanitary solution, and then use that to wipe down their cutting boards or their work surfaces, that sort of thing.”
Restaurants must use a sanitizer like bleach or chlorine to avoid cross-contamination.
Maxby’s Family Restaurant in Souris was fined $487.15 in May for failing to ensure potentially hazardous food is maintained at a safe internal temperature. The restaurant was also shut down on Jan. 31 to June 5 for a variety of violations, including an invalid permit, operating unsafely maintained equipment and failing to ensure the establishment is clean and in good repair.
LeBlanc said businesses are closed down until they come back into compliance.
“They’re on their own time frame,” he added.
Virden’s A&W restaurant was fined $299.65 in March for poor general sanitation.
The Redwood Motor Inn in Brandon was fined $673.65 for an offence dating back to October 2013. The owner failed to conduct water quality tests and maintain records as required of the pool.
The Brandon Sun contacted Patrick Sun, the new owner of the Redwood Motor Inn.
Sun said the fine was dealt with by the previous owner, as Sun took over Jan. 1, 2014.
“He paid it already, and even before that, no more pool here,” Sun said.
The pool is closed, and Sun said he has no plans on re-opening it.
Manitoba Health inspects establishments one to three times per year, depending on the nature of their operation.
Common offences include unclean conditions, lack of hand-washing supplies and not keeping food at the proper temperatures.
“We have a saying, keep your hot foods hot, your cold foods cold and don’t cross-contaminate,” LeBlanc said.
“It’s at room temperate where you’re going to have bacteria growing.”
While the most common establishment on the Health Protection Report is restaurants, there are also hotel pools and tattoo parlours.
Annually there are typically 40 to 50 establishments with convictions and 35 to 50 with closures.
Considering there are more than 10,000 establishments across Manitoba, the number of businesses with health violations is less than one per cent.
“The vast majority of places are quite good, and we have no problems with them. We have a small sub-set … that require a bit more attention and we have even a smaller sub-set where we need to go the enforcement route, either through tickets or closure,” LeBlanc said.
“Bottom line is the restaurant industry and health inspectors work together fairly well. We want to ensure safe food supply and Canada has one of the safest food supplies in the world.”
» Twitter: @jillianaustin