After inspecting the kitchen at the Saint Medical Center, my findings were equal parts good and bad. Overall, the conditions of the kitchen were mostly clean, and the staff was knowledgeable about handling and preparing the food. Starting with the negative findings, I noticed that the meats (chicken and beef) were not defrosted using the proper, safe method. The chicken was being defrosted outside of the refrigerator on racks, rather than inside the refrigerator, or under water. The raw meat was also laying outside of the refrigerator on the prep table, likely where it was defrosted.
The there were a few suspicious trashcans I noticed. One was right in front of the deep fryer, which could easily start a fire. And the others were beyond their full point, none of which has lids; one of which was right next to the hand washing station. Speaking of cleaning utilities, the 3 compartment sink water was dirty and murky, which defeats it’s use to clean bacteria and other harmful elements. I also noticed that there were dirty cutting boards, knives, and dirty rags, lying around next to the sink, rather than being cleaned right away.
Finally, upon inspecting the cooking stations, I noticed that there was gunk on the grill, likely from not being cleaned in some time, as well as old food still in the oil of the deep fryer. Let’s move to the cafeteria area. This cafeteria has a salad bar, and that is where most of the negative findings were found. First off, the salad bar was very messy. There was dressing all over, crumbles of hard-boiled egg yolk, and cross-contamination between the different veggies. Outside of the salad bar, the trashcan area was also very messy, and the were dirty hotel pans lying in plain sight of guests.
Not a pleasant sight while you are eating. Like I said, my inspection had equal parts good and bad. Let’s move on to the good. The staff was all very clean. They were all wearing the correct, clean attire. They followed all safety rules inside and outside of the kitchen. When handling ready-to-eat food, they wore gloves and followed the proper technique. All food, both dry and refrigerated, was labeled correctly when not in original packaging; all of which was in top-notch condition.
When preparing the food, they observed and followed the techniques put in place against food borne illness. They had separate color-coded cutting boards to use for different prep tasks. There were also separate prep tables for different task, like cooked food, preparing food, and ready-to-eat food, each had their own table. Temperatures for all equipment (Refrigerator, warming cabinet) were set to the correct temperature. If there was extra warm food, it was all kept within the warming cabinets.
An emergency eye washing station was available, and all chemicals were kept far from any food that was being prepped. A bulletin board was also in place showing different safety practices, and codes for all staff to see and refer to if needed. The dishwashing room was also keep very clean and organized. To make sure all food was put out to the highest standards of quality and safety, the Executive Chef checked every order before it left the kitchen, whether it was to the cafeteria or a delivery to a patient room.