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Mouse droppings found in Columbia restaurant

Behind The Kitchen Door pores over inspections

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Inspectors handed Formosa nine violations after they found mouse droppings next to food that would be served to customers.

The inspection report from the Boone County/Columbia Public Health Department shows Formosa received five critical violations for mouse droppings, a soiled pot inside a bin full of a cabbage and raw food stored above ready-to-eat foods, among others.

The inspection report said the department visited the restaurant again on Tuesday and all critical violations were corrected.

Because the mouse droppings were found in a food storage room, it can be difficult for a customer to get an idea of how clean a restaurant’s kitchen is.

Emilee Follett, vice president of product development at State Food Safety, said one way to get an idea about the cleanliness of a restaurant, is to visit the bathroom. She said if the bathroom is clean, it’s a good indicator their kitchen is, too.

State Food Safety partners with health departments to provide food safety training.

Follett said it’s important to store foods in a certain order. State Food Safety’s image below shows how a restaurant refrigerator should be organized to help avoid bacteria contamination.

Image courtesy of State Food Safety

Formosa was not in compliant with health department regulations because the inspector found raw food stored above ready-to-eat food items.

The department’s policy states that all critical violations are corrected while the health inspector is still present. If they can’t be corrected, a follow-up inspection is scheduled.

ABC 17 News crews visited Formosa, but they declined an interview.

Click here to download a spreadsheet with all of the past week's inspection data.

All eateries inspected since April 3:

Formosa: 4/5, all critical violations were corrected during a reinspection on 4/9

  • Five critical violations: Mouse droppings found in the dry-food storage area, a soiled pot was inside a bin full of cabbage, raw food was stored above ready-to-eat foods throughout the restaurant and no sanitizer test strips were present.
  • Four non-critical violations: Soiled walls, floors and equipment through the food-prep area, food containers were not covered and left unprotected, some cutting boards need to be resurfaced and there was not enough light in the walk-in cooler.

Taco Bell (East Nifong): 4/8, follow-up scheduled for 5/8

  • Two critical violations: Spider webs found behind the fountain drink machine in the lobby and no paper towels were located at a hand sink
  • Three non-critical violations:  Broken floor and wall tiles and multiple employees were missing food handler cards.

La Siesta (North Ninth Street): 4/8

  • Two critical violations: Potentially hazardous food was held longer than seven days and not date-labeled. Soiled lids were resting inside a container with chicken inside.
  • One non-critical violation: Standing water in the dish area needed to be drained and a cooler needed to be cleaned by the next routine inspection, according to the inspection.

Las Margaritas (St. Charles Road): 4/4

  • Four critical violations: Potentially hazardous, ready-to-eat foods were not date-labeled, raw food was stored incorrectly, utensils with soiled areas were put away as clean and the inspection report said the utensils were washed, rinsed and sanitized by management and there wasn't any soap at a hand sink.
  • One non-critical violation: Single-service cups were used as reusable scoops.

Lakota Coffee Company (South Ninth Street): 4/3, all critical violations were corrected by an inspection on 4/9

  • Two critical violations: Sliced meats were not date-labeled and foods were above the correct temperature.

China Star: 4/5

  • Two critical violations: Dented can inside the restaurant and the hand sink was used to dump items.
  • Two non-critical violations: Sanitizer rags were stored with raw chicken and restroom doors are not self-closing.

1839 Taphouse: 4/9

  • Three non-critical violations: Floor and shelves were soiled and there was a hole under four sinks.

Jersey Mike's Subs: 4/9

  • One critical violation: Slicer was soiled with food debris.
  • Two non-critical violations: Vents were not free of dust, dirt or debris. All prepackaged baked foods were not labeled properly. The inspector noted it should be labeled with its name, ingredients, quantity, place of manufacturer and allergens.

Angelo's: 4/9

  • Two critical violations: Soiled knife was stored as clean and cooked pasta noodles did not have a date on them. The inspector said the knife was washed, rinsed and sanitized on-site.
  • Four non-critical violations: Floor and wall under a dish machine is soiled, along with a cooler. A baseboard is also in disrepair, which makes it not smooth or easily cleanable.

Harold's Doughnuts (Ninth Street): 4/5

  • One critical violation: Wooden spoons were stored as clean, but had cracks and were not smooth or easily cleanable.
  • Two non-critical violations: Clean utensils were stored on cardboard and employees were missing food handler/manager cards. 

Prenger Foods (Hallsville): 4/5, follow-up inspection scheduled for 4/10

  • One critical violation: The temperature in the deli meat and cheese display was too warm. It it supposed to be at 41 degrees or below.
  • Two non-critical violations: Soiled goods above the stove, fryer and oven, light bulbs were uncovered in a cooler.

Wilson's in the District: 4/3

  • One critical violation: The inspector noted the snack bar was not sanitizing its dishes after they were used.
  • Two non-critical violations: No thermometer in a cooler and single-service items were used as a scoop.

Subway (East St. Charles Road): 4/4

  • One non-critical violation: Soiled sink nozzle.

Backdoor Lounge: 4/5

  • One non-critical violation: Leaking sink.

Eateries without any violations during the time of inspection:

  • Addison's (Cherry Street): 4/3, a consumer advisory was added to the menu.
  • Aldi (East Green Meadows): 4/3
  • Billy Hinson Whole Hog (mobile concession):  4/8, commissary inspection.
  • Casey's (El Chaparral): 4/8
  • Columbia Manor (senior care facility): 4/5
  • Confetti Craft Co.: 4/3
  • HyVee Gas (West Broadway): 4/8, the critical violation was corrected from an inspection on 4/1.
  • Joy's Carry Out and Catering Service: 4/5, no food was present during the inspection.
  • Kansas City Ice Cream Co.: 4/4
  • Main Squeeze: 4/9
  • Nikko Enterprises: 4/5
  • Old Hawthorne Golf Snack Bar: 4/9
  • Osaka: 4/3, all critical violations were corrected from an inspection on 3/27.
  • Teller's: 4/5, all critical violations were corrected from an inspection on 4/2. The inspection said the ice machine is "free of mold."
  • The Crepe Cart of Columbia: 4/6, no food was being prepared during the inspection.
  • Via Pizza Tree (mobile concession): 4/3

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