Mold found in Columbia eateries' ice machines

Machines known to harbor bacteria

COLUMBIA, Mo. - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration considers ice a food, and it’s been the culprit behind critical violations given to eateries in Boone County.

In the last five months, ABC 17 News has reported The Columbia/Boone County Public Health Department has handed out at least 27 critical violations for mold in an ice machine.

The critical violation can directly impact the drinks served at a restaurant.

Downtown Appliance sales associate Gene Lavely said an ice machine is appealing to bacteria because the ice is, “basically melting as it's sitting in the container so it keeps reproducing that same ice and over and over as it melts.”

Inspectors visited at least 15 eateries in the past week and handed out three critical violations. Two of the three were for mold in an ice machine.

That particular citation was given out to Penguin Piano Bar on Broadway and Caribou Coffee inside HyVee on Nifong.

Both establishments have been re-inspected by the health department and fixed their critical violations of mold in their ice machines, according to health department inspection records.

“It’s an open container that’s not actually sealed up, so anything can actually go ahead and fall in there and create mold, black mold, bacteria, different things of that nature,” Lavely said.

The following eateries were inspected between May 15 and May 21:

The Penguin Bar: 5/17, follow-up scheduled for 5/22

  • Two critical violations: Slime mold in the ice machine and no towels at any hand sink.

Hy-Vee Cairbou Coffee (East Nifong Blvd): 5/16, follow-up scheduled for 5/20

  • One critical violation: Slime mold in an ice machine.

Breaktime (East Business Loop 70): 5/17

  • One non-critical violation: Soiled floor.

Taco Bell (South Providence Road): 5/15, follow-up scheduled for 6/14

  • One non-critical violation: Wall tiles under a sink are missing.

Italian Village: 5/21

  • Two critical violations: Unlabeled bottles, dishes stored in a handsink.

The Links: 5/16

  • One non-critical violation: Chemical tablets stored near and next to clean dishes.

Little Caesar's Pizza (East Nifong Blvd): 5/21

  • One non-critical violation: No manager certification, employees are missing food handler's cards. The inspection note said new employees have 30 days to get a food handler's card.

Eateries without any violations at the time of the inspection:

  • Billiards on Broadway: 5/15
  • Burger King (Clark Lane): 5/15
  • Mad Cow: 5/21
  • Mid America Harley-Davidson: 5/18
  • Midway Restaurant: 5/21, follow-up to an inspection on 5/15, the restaurant corrected all its critical violations.
  • Sticky Pig BBQ Sauce: 5/15
  • The Social Room: 5/17
  • The Social Room Cart (Mobile Concession): 5/17

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