OSHA makes ruling in nitrogen leak that killed 6 at Foundation Food Group
Foundation Food Group faces more than $500,000 in potential fines related to a Jan. 28 nitrogen leak that killed six people, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced, calling the deaths “entirely avoidable.”
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Kitchen inspections, July 1-10
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The following are among the food service establishments inspected from July 1-15 by the Hall County Environmental Health Department. New rules and regulations for food service began on Dec. 1, 2007. Food service establishments will now be given a letter grade that coincides with a percentile: "A" (90-100), "B" (80-89), "C" (70-79), "U" 69 and below. Inspections (frequency of) a food service establishment will be conducted based on risk categorization. The risk type shall be determined by the menu items served, the food preparation processed performed, and the previous food safety history in the food service establishment.

A new food service establishment that has never served food must score 100 (A) to receive a food service permit to operate. When a restaurant changes ownership, a new food service permit must be issued. To be issued a food service permit for a change of ownership, the establishment must score a 95 (A) or above with all Foodborne Illness Risk factors and Public Health Interventions in compliance. Permits must be posted in public view at all times. Food service establishments with drive-through windows will also be required to have the top one-third of a copy of the most current inspection report visible through each window allowing customers to easily read the score, date of inspection and establishment information, in addition to the copy posted inside the establishment. Copies of the new rules are available at the Hall County Environmental health Office. The rules and regulations are also available online at

To register a complaint against a food service establishment, contact the Hall County Environmental Health Department at 770-531-3973.

July 1

Sonic Drive In

3415 Atlanta Highway, Flowery Branch

Score: 94, Grade: A

Repeat violation: three container holder of bulk items not labeled. Single service cups being washed and reused. Personal items (handbags, checks, etc.) on prep shelves.

Inspector: Donna Black

July 2

Ninja Steak House

5753 Old Winder Highway, Braselton

Score: 96, Grade: A

Some coolers missing thermometers. Gaskets have dust and food debris; some torn.

Inspector: Kathleen McDuffie

McDonald’s Restaurant

3183 Frontage Road, Gainesville

Score: 91, Grade: A

Repeat violation: Thermometers missing from wall coolers with frozen food. Repeat violation: 5-gallon tea jugs stored on floor of walk-in. Some employees handling food without hair restraint. Wiping cloths on counters, equipment, etc. Gaskets have an accumulation of food residue; some gaskets damaged.

Inspector: McDuffie

Dairy Queen

3156 Frontage Road, Gainesville

Score: 98, Grade: A

Repeat violation: grease container dripping. Repeat violation: Floors under equipment need more thorough cleaning.

Inspector: McDuffie

July 6


1904 Browns Bridge Road, Gainesville

Score: 96, Grade: A

Residue along baffle and interior of ice machine. Food residue on stacked pans and utensils.

Inspector: Lydia Hoffhines

El Ranchito Mexican Restaurant

1834 Atlanta Highway, Gainesville

Score: 52, Grade: U

Employee entering food prep area and beginning food prep tasks without washing hands. Employee chopping cabbage with bare hands. Uncovered coffee cups in kitchen. Food wrapped in paper towel sitting on to-go containers. No paper towels in ladies room and men’s room has hot air dryer. Bag of scallops dripping into container of sauce; cut head of cabbage sitting directly on raw fish on top rack of cooler; same cutting board used for cabbage that raw fish was sitting on; raw eggs stored above milk and produce in reach in cooler. Repeat violation: Multiple pans, containers and buckets of food stored uncovered in coolers. Knives on magnetic strip have food residue on blades; knives placed in soapy water, rinsed off and placed back on strip. Refrigerated rice and beans being heated on steam table; temperature at 82 F at 10:10 and 110 F at 11 a.m. No foods date labeled. Large buckets of sauce prepared days ago. Containers of dry foods have no labels. Repeat violation: Reach-in cooler beside hand sink has puddling water on bottom. Open canned food in reach-in coolers. Repeat violation: Outsides of bulk food containers, produce baskets, racks, gaskets, doors and interior walls of coolers have an accumulation of dried food debris. Repeat violation: Floors need better cleaning all the way to the floor/wall juncture to prevent contamination and insect, rodent attraction. Repeat violation: Hood vent system has grease buildup.

Inspector: Hoffhines


730 Pearl Nix Parkway, Gainesville

Score: 93, Grade: A

No foods date labeled. Tub of popsicles on floor in walk-in freezer. Employees handling or preparing foods must have hair restraint. Cloth on cutting board and wet cloths stacked in bucket with no sanitizer water.

Inspector: Hoffhines

New York’s Famous Beef Franks

996 Athens St., Suite D, Gainesville

Score: 96, Grade: A

Very little sanitizer registering on test strips for sanitizer in compartment sink.

Inspector: Hoffhines

July 7

Hampton Inn

450 Jesse Jewell Parkway, Gainesville

Score: 96, Grade: A

No soap or paper towels at hand sink.

Inspector: Black

July 8

Bayou Seafood, Chicken & Steaks

420 Wall St., Gainesville

Score: 95, Grade: A

Beans made three days ago not date marked. Grease spill running from grease container out into parking lot. Both paper towel dispensers in women’s restroom are jammed.

Inspector: Laurie Wentworth

Taqueria Susy’s

4251 Winder Highway, Flowery Branch

Score: 96, Grade: A

Makeline struggling to maintain required temperature. Gaskets on makeline cooler heavily damaged.

Inspector: McDuffie

Ryan’s DBA Fire Mountain

2415 Browns Bridge Road, Gainesville

Score: 97, Grade: A

Gaskets on several coolers heavily damaged. Tiles in kitchen broken in many areas and grout missing — agreement Aug. 16, 2007 — all flooring in kitchen was to be repaired to provide a smooth, durable, easily cleanable surface; written as violation Jan. 23, 2007, July 6, 2007, Aug. 16, 2007, and Feb. 18, 2008. Interior of two door makelines needs to be thoroughly cleaned.

Inspector: McDuffie

Crossroads Bar & Grill

5900 Spout Springs Road, Flowery Branch

Score: 93, Grade: A

Repeat violation: Soda guns have mold, mildew. Most gaskets heavily damaged and food debris on gaskets.

Inspector: McDuffie

Thai Dish

5911 Spout Springs Road, Flowery Branch

Score: 80, Grade: B

Foods not covered in storage. Utensils stored with food debris in a pan with food debris. Three-door cooler out of temperature; foods above required temperatures. Date labeling not on all foods — some foods past dispose-of date. Gaskets on makeline greasy with food residue. Grease container needs to be exchanged, dripping. Floors need better cleaning throughout kitchen walls behind cook area. Grease dripping in hood.

Inspector: McDuffie

Lanier Diner

1310 Dawsonville Highway, Gainesville

Score: 70, Grade: C

Hands not being washed before donning gloves to work with food. Ready-to-eat foods being prepared (cut) dispensed with bare hands. Coffee cups on prep surfaces in kitchen, and food handler with unlit cigarette in mouth in kitchen. Eggshells stored over salad in cookline cooler, and eggs stored over carrots and shredded cooked chicken in walk-in cooler. Many foods in walk-in cooler and prep coolers stored uncovered. Roast left on wire shelf in walk-in cooler to cool, uncovered (unwrapped completely). Food handlers not all wearing hair restraint. No sanitizer buckets set up for the storage of the many wiping cloths in use on prep surfaces in the kitchen. No test strips (chlorine) located for monitoring amount of sanitizer dispensed in dish machine for sanitizing kitchenware and utensils. Fried eggplant draining on overturned egg carriers in walk-in cooler. Prep surfaces (cutting boards) on sandwich boards and prep table not being wiped, cleaned and sanitized properly after use (wiping with dry cloths and/or dirty cloths).

Inspector: Wentworth

July 9

El Sombrero No. 1

1435 Thompson Bridge Road, Gainesville

Score: 82, Grade: B

Pork (cooked) on stove and off burner at 97 degrees F. Cooked chicken in ranchero sauce cooling in walk-in cooler starting at noon. Cooling foods in pans above six inches depth without use of ice bath. Containers of chips stored on floor and some with no cover. Tacos stored beneath cutting board area. Nonfood contact surfaces have food debris, grease accumulation. Repeat violation: No covered trash can in ladies restroom.

Inspector: Shelby Finch

Shane’s Rib Shack

890-F Dawsonville Highway, Gainesville

Score: 90, Grade: A

Ribs in hot holding cabinet being held at 121 to 132 degrees F. No covered receptable for women’s sanitiary items in women’s restroom.

Inspector: Wentworth


212 Spring St. S.W., Gainesville

Score: 100, Grade: A

Inspector: Wentworth

July 10

Taqueria El Indio

130 John Morrow Jr. Parkway Suite 1, Gainesville

Score: 100, Grade: A

Inspector: Black

Megan Gill

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