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Restaurant Inspections: Little Caesar's and Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant

See these recent restaurant inspections in the Greater Alexandria area.

During the past few weeks, the state health department inspected a few restaurants in the Greater Alexandria area. For prior restaurant inspection reports, click here.

In Virginia, restaurant inspection reports aren't quite as simple as getting a letter grade or an easy-to-see number rating to post in the front window.

That said, we all want to know how our favorite restaurants stack up on cleanliness and sanitation. Inspectors grade restaurants based on critical and non-critical violations.

A "critical violation" is one that "poses a direct or immediate threat to the safety of the food being served." Non-critical violations are generally related to cleaning or maintenance.

"Ideally, an operation would have no critical violations, or none which are not corrected immediately and not repeated. In our experience, it is unrealistic to expect that a complex, full-service food operation can routinely avoid any violations," according to Virginia Department of Health's website.

The site continues: "Keep in mind that any inspection report is a 'snapshot' of the day and time of the inspection. On any given day, a restaurant could have fewer or more violations than noted in the report. An inspection conducted on any given day may not be representative of the overall, long-term cleanliness of an establishment."

Below, find the latest restaurant inspection from the Virginia Department of Health. These inspections reflect visits from inspectors during the last few weeks. Some of the violations were corrected immediately during the recent inspections.

The full reports can be accessed on the health department's website.

Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant
3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy
Date of inspection: Sept. 16
Critical (corrected during inspection): The following food item(s) from damaged packaging were found offered for sale or service: cans of peaches and clams.
Non-critical: The water temperature in the manifold servicing the high temperature ware washing machine was below the minimum allowable level of 180 degrees.

Little Caesar's
8752 Richmond Hwy
Date of inspection: Sept. 13
Critical (corrected during inspection): One or more of the elements of an effective employee health policy is either missing or incomplete. A complete employee health policy is required to be in place at the food establishment.
Critical (corrected during inspection): The person in charge is not able to provide written procedures for the use of time as a public health control with the following potentially hazardous food item(s): prepped pizza on rack, pizza sauce by pizza prep, portioned pizza sauce at cash register.

Rahama African Restaurant
8738 Richmond Hwy
Date of inspection: Sept. 13
Critical (corrected during inspection): One or more of the elements of an effective employee health policy is either missing or incomplete. A complete employee health policy is required to be in place at the food establishment.
Critical (corrected during inspection): When tested, the chlorine-based sanitizing solution was observed to be at a concentration less than what is required for effective sanitization of food-contact surfaces of equipment and utensils. Observed the sanitizing solution in the wet wiping bucket with a concentration of 0 ppm total chlorine.
Critical (corrected during inspection): The following cooked potentially hazardous foods are not being adequately cooled from 135°F to 70°F within 2 hours and to 41°F within a total of 6 hour: cooked beans cooling for over 8 hours in the 5 dr reach-in cooler observed at 46 degrees.
Critical (corrected during inspection): The following food item(s) were observed cold holding at improper temperatures using a calibrated food temperature measuring device: cooked beef (46F), cooked goat (47F), cooked okra (52F) in 5dr reach-in cooler.
Non-critical (corrected during inspection): Observed the hand sink at the 3-vat being used as a dumping station.
Non-critical (corrected during inspection): Observed that sign or poster that notifies food employees to wash their hands is not provided at all hand washing sinks used by food employees - in dining area and by 3-vat.

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