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Moldy sandwiches, 6-week-old cheeseburgers among May food violations

What are the most common restaurant violations in Kansas?

The Kansas Department of Agriculture shared their top critical violations found during routine inspections at restaurants and grocery stores in Kansas. Critical violations can contribute to foodborne illness.
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The Kansas Department of Agriculture shared their top critical violations found during routine inspections at restaurants and grocery stores in Kansas. Critical violations can contribute to foodborne illness.

Moldy chicken sandwiches for sale, at least six-week-old jalapeno cheeseburgers and a server who blew their nose but didn’t wash up before handling food are among violations noted during local restaurant and gas station inspections in May.

Kansas Department of Agriculture inspectors decided 32 Sedgwick County businesses that serve food or offer sleeping accommodations to the public were out of compliance last month. Not all businesses that violate the state’s food safety and lodging rules are considered out of compliance. That is determined by the kind and number of violations found.

According to the reports, an inspector who went to the Jump Start gas station at 104 W. Chicago in Colwich on May 21 noted several food items in the walk-in cooler that were too warm to safely sell, including a pair of jalapeno cheeseburgers.

When the inspector questioned the age of the burgers, an employee said they’d been in the cooler for six weeks — maybe longer.

The employee threw them away, along with several flavors of milk and cheese that hadn’t been kept at cool-enough temperatures, an inspection report says.

The day before, a Valley Center Kwik Shop, 110 E. 5th, tossed several food items that didn’t have a date stamped or written on them. No one could remember how long the beef franks, corn dogs, milk or mashed potatoes had been in the walk-in cooler.

Two chicken bacon cheddar sandwiches for sale in the Kwik Shop’s retail case had been there so long, mold was growing on them, according to an inspection report. The gas station also voluntarily trashed several deli items including mac and cheese, coleslaw, tuna sandwiches and BLTs that could have been unsafe for customers to eat.

On May 23, an inspector cited the restaurant inside of North Rock Lanes — AJ’s Sports Grill — after he saw an employee blow their nose in a napkin and then go to a customer’s table without washing hands.

The employee picked up a customer’s cup and refilled it at the soda dispenser before being stopped and warned that they were violating food safety rules, an inspection report says.

The employee ended up throwing away the cup and washed before preparing another drink, the report says. North Rock Lanes is at 3232 N. Rock Rd. in Wichita.

Every month, The Wichita Eagle curates a database of non-compliant food and lodging inspection reports that you can search using keywords like roach or mold or bedbug, by business name or address, or by date.

To see the violations at all establishments, simply hit the search button.

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You can complain about conditions at any business that serves or sells food by emailing kda.fsl@ks.gov or calling 785-564-6767. To file a confidential food safety complaint involvingn an illness, call the Kansas Department of Health and Environment Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Response at 877-427-7317 or email EpiHotline@kdheks.gov.

A business is considered out of compliance if an inspector finds three or more priority violations — those that directly affect the prevention of food-borne illnesses — or five or more priority foundation violations — issues that could lead to problems preventing food-borne illnesses. Both types are considered critical violations, which require immediate attention.

A business is also out of compliance if it has a problem that isn’t or can’t be corrected immediately in front of an inspector, like a plumbing problem. It’s common for businesses to have some violations.

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Amy Renee Leiker has been reporting for The Wichita Eagle since 2010. She covers crime, courts and breaking news and updates the newspaper’s online databases. You can reach her at 316-268-6644. She’s an avid reader and mom of three in her non-work time.
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