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Facility: Strings Italian Cafe
Address: 731 E. Yosemite Ave. Suit A, Merced, CA

The most recent inspection of this food facility resulted in a rating of
Good (Total Points: 4.00)
0-6  Points: Good
7-13 Points: Satisfactory
14+  Points: Unsatisfactory
Rating on date 11-06-2018: Good (Total Points: 4.00)
DateViolationPointsCorrectionInspector CommentsFacility Area
11-06-2018 Wiping cloths used to wipe service counters, scales or other surfaces that may come into contact with food shall be used only once unless kept in clean water with sanitizer. (114135, 11485, 114185.1, 11485.2, 114185.3) 2.00 Cloths used to wipe service counters, scales, and other surfaces that may directly or indirectly contact food shall be used only once until laundered or may be used repeatedly if held in a sanitizing solution, as described below. Cloths used with raw foods of animal origin shall be used only once until laundered or may be used repeatedly if kept in a separate container of sanitizing solution, as described below:
(1) Contact with a solution of 100 ppm available chlorine solution for at least 30 seconds.
(2) Contact with a solution of 25 ppm available iodine for at least one minute.
(3) Contact with a solution of 200 ppm quaternary ammonium for at least one minute.
(4) Contact with any chemical sanitizer that meets the requirements of Section 180.940 of Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations when used in accordance with the manufacturer's use directions.
(CDI) Observed multi-use wiping cloths used to wipe food prep surfaces and not being stored in sanitizer solution. Store all wiping cloths in sanitizer solution if using more than once. Sanitizer solution was provided during inspection. 0102 FOOD ESTAB. W/FOOD PREP 50-149 SEATS
11-06-2018 Potentially hazardous foods shall be held at or below 41°/ 45°F or at or above 135°F. (113996, 113998, 114037, 114343(a)) 2.00 Hold potentially hazardous foods either at or above 135°F or at or below 41°F. Hold the following potentially hazardous foods at 45°F: raw shell eggs, unshucked live molluscan shellfish, pasteurized milk and pasteurized milk products in original, sealed containers. Potentially hazardous foods held for dispensing in a serving line or a salad bar (not in a display case) may be held at 45°F or less during periods not to exceed 12 hours in any 24-hour period. Discard all potentially hazardous food that has been out of an approved time and temperature range. (CDI) Observed the temperature of the upright fridge unit next to the boilers measured at 47F. Food items also measured at 47F. Cold food temperatures shall be at 41F or lower. All food items were moved to another unit during inspection. Do not store potentially hazardous food in this fridge unit until it shows that it can maintain 41F and lower. 0102 FOOD ESTAB. W/FOOD PREP 50-149 SEATS


Rating on date 10-10-2018: Unsatisfactory - reinspection required (Total Points: 33.00)
DateViolationPointsCorrectionInspector CommentsFacility Area
10-10-2018 Potentially hazardous foods shall be held at or below 41°/ 45°F or at or above 135°F. (113996, 113998, 114037, 114343(a)) 4.00 Hold potentially hazardous foods either at or above 135°F or at or below 41°F. Hold the following potentially hazardous foods at 45°F: raw shell eggs, unshucked live molluscan shellfish, pasteurized milk and pasteurized milk products in original, sealed containers. Potentially hazardous foods held for dispensing in a serving line or a salad bar (not in a display case) may be held at 45°F or less during periods not to exceed 12 hours in any 24-hour period. Discard all potentially hazardous food that has been out of an approved time and temperature range. 3rd Repeat Violation: Observed the small containers on ice to the right hand side of the steam table above 43°F. Containers should be in a refrigeration unit or the containers should be fully immersed in ice water to maintain temperature at 41°F or below. 0102 FOOD ESTAB. W/FOOD PREP 50-149 SEATS
10-10-2018 All food shall be separated and protected from contamination. (113984, 113986, 113988, 113990, 114060, 114067, 114069, 114077, 114079, 114089.1 (c), 114143 (c)) 2.00 Destroy all contaminated food. All food shall be prepared, stored, displayed, dispensed, placed, transported, sold, and served as to be protected from dirt, vermin, unnecessary handling, droplet contamination, overhead leakage, or other contamination.
If unpackaged food is displayed and sold in bulk in other than self-service containers, then it shall be served by an employee of the food establishment directly to a consumer and shall be displayed in clean, sanitary, and covered or otherwise protected containers.
For bulk customer self-service food items, such as salad bars, buffet type foods, and other ready-to-eat food, install sneeze guards that intercept a direct line between the customer's mouth and the food being offered, dispense from approved mechanical dispensers, or employ other effective means to protect ready-to-eat food from contamination.
Protect all cartons, boxes, or other materials used in the packaging of any food from dirt, vermin, and other forms of contamination or adulteration.
Observed some food items not covered when not under diligent preparation. Cover all food items at all times when not under diligent preparation. 0102 FOOD ESTAB. W/FOOD PREP 50-149 SEATS
10-10-2018 Handwashing soap and single use towels or drying device shall be provided in dispensers adjacent to each handwashing facility; dispensers shall be maintained in good repair. (113953.2) Adequate separate facilities shall be provided for handwashing, food preparation, and the washing of utensils and equipment. (113953, 113953.1) 2.00 Handwashing facilities shall be sufficient in number and conveniently located so as to be accessible at all times for use by food employees. Employees shall not clean their hands in a sink used for food preparation, warewashing, or in a service sink or a curbed cleaning facility used for the disposal of mop water and similar liquid waste. Do not place objects in front of the handwashing station, and do not place items, utensils or wiping cloths in the handwashing sink.

Handwashing facilities shall be equipped to provide warm water under pressure for a minimum of 15 seconds. If the temperature of water provided is not readily adjustable at the faucet, the temperature of the water shall be at least 100°F, but not greater than 108°F. Soap shall be provided in approved dispensers at, or adjacent to, handwashing facilities (no bars of soap). Single-use sanitary towels or hot-air blowers shall be provided at handwashing facilities in approved dispensing devices.
Observed that the hot water was turned off at the hand wash station in the back at the dish washing area. Keep hot water on and provided to the hand wash sink at all times. Employee indicated that the faucet is leaking and they turn off the water to prevent that problem. 0102 FOOD ESTAB. W/FOOD PREP 50-149 SEATS
10-10-2018 All utensils and equipment shall be fully operative, clean, and in good repair. (114115, 114175). All utensils and equipment shall be approved, installed properly, and meet applicable standards. (114130, 114130.1, 114130.2, 114130.3, 114130.4, 114130.5, 114130.6, 114132, 114133, 114137, 114139, 114143, 114153, 114155, 114163, 114165, 114167, 114169, 114172, 114175, 114177, 114180, 114182) 4.00 Equipment food-contact surfaces and utensils shall be clean to sight and touch. The food-contact surfaces of cooking equipment and pans shall be kept free of encrusted grease deposits and other debris accumulations.

Keep all food facilities, and all utensils, display cases, windows, counters, shelves, tables, refrigeration units, sinks, dishwashing machines, and other equipment or utensils used in the storage, preparation, sale, service, and display of food, clean, fully operative, and in good repair.

The non-food-contact surfaces of equipment shall be kept free of an accumulation of dust, dirt, food residue, and other debris. Equipment shall be reassembled so that food-contact surfaces are not contaminated.
4th Repeat Violation: Observed the counter top around the hand wash sink in the front area across from the salad prep refrigerator was warped from water damage and uplifting from the counter top. Repair or replace. 0102 FOOD ESTAB. W/FOOD PREP 50-149 SEATS
10-10-2018 The walls / ceilings shall have durable, smooth, nonabsorbent, light-colored, and washable surfaces. All floor surfaces, other than the customer service areas, shall be approved, smooth, durable and made of nonabsorbent material that is easily cleanable. Approved base coving shall be provided in all areas, except customer service areas and where food is stored in original unopened containers. Food facilities shall be fully enclosed. All food facilities shall be kept clean and in good repair. (114065, 114067, 114069, 114175, 114143, 114257, 114259.2, 114266, 114268, 114268.1, 114271, 114272) 2.00 All food facilities shall be kept clean, fully operative, and in good repair. Floor surfaces in all areas in which food is prepared, packaged or stored, where any utensil is washed, where refuse or garbage is stored, where janitorial facilities are located, and in all restrooms and hand washing areas shall be smooth and of durable construction and made from non absorbent material that is easily cleanable.

Each permanent food facility shall be fully enclosed in a building consisting of permanent floors, walls, and an overhead structure that meets minimum standards. Food facilities that are not fully enclosed on all sides and that are in operation on January 1, 1985, shall not be required to meet the requirements of this section until the facility is remodeled or has a significant menu change or a change in its method of operation. Full enclosure is not required for dining areas and certain other areas when approved for outdoor food services.
Observed the build up of food debris on the floor inside the walk-in fridge. Clean and increase frequency to prevent build up. 0102 FOOD ESTAB. W/FOOD PREP 50-149 SEATS
10-10-2018 Food facilities that prepare food shall be equipped with warewashing facilities. Testing equipment and materials shall be provided to measure the applicable sanitization method. (114067(f,g), 114099, 114099.1, 114099.2, 114099.3, 114099.4, 114099.5, 114099.6, 114099.7, 114101, 114101.1, 114101.2, 114103, 114107, 114125) 2.00 Provide a sink with at least 3 compartments with 2 integral metal drainboards. The sink compartments and drainage facilities shall be large enough to accommodate the largest utensil or piece of equipment to be cleaned therein.

Clean the utensils in one of the following ways:

(1) Manual warewashing shall be accomplished by using a 3-compartment sink where the utensils are first pre-cleaned, then washed, rinsed, sanitized, and air dried. The temperature of the washing solution shall be maintained at not less than 100°F or the temperature specified on the cleaning agent manufacturer's label instructions. The utensils shall then be rinsed in clear water before being immersed in a sanitizing solution. Manual sanitization shall be accomplished in the final sanitizing rinse by one of the following:
(a) Immersion for at least 30 seconds where the water temperature is maintained at 171°F or above.
(b) The application of sanitizing chemicals by immersion, manual swabbing, or brushing, using one of the following solutions:
(1) Contact with a solution of 100 ppm available chlorine solution for at least 30 seconds.
(2) Contact with a solution of 25 ppm available iodine for at least one minute.
(3) Contact with a solution of 200 ppm quaternary ammonium for at least one minute.
(4) Contact with a solution of ozone that meets the requirements of Section 180.940 of Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations and that is generated by a device located onsite at the food facility that meets all of the requirements of 114099.6.
(c) Other methods approved by the enforcement agency.

(2) Mechanical machine warewashing shall be accomplished by using an approved machine installed and operated in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications. Soiled items to be cleaned in a warewashing machine shall be loaded in racks, trays, or baskets or onto conveyors in a position that exposes the items to the unobstructed spray during all cycles and allows the items to drain. Mechanical sanitization shall be accomplished in the final sanitizing rinse by one of the following:
(a) By being cycled through equipment achieving a utensil surface temperature of 160°F or above.
(b) The mechanical application of sanitizing chemicals by pressure spraying methods using one of the following:
(1) Contact with a solution of 50 ppm available chlorine solution for at least 30 seconds.
(2) Contact with a solution of 25 ppm available iodine for at least one minute.
(3) Contact with any chemical sanitizer that meets the requirements of Section 180.940 of Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations when used in accordance with both the sanitizer manufacturers use directions and the machine manufacturer's specifications.

Provide testing equipment and materials to adequately measure the applicable sanitization method.
Observed the lack of quaternary ammonia test strips at the facility. Facility uses quaternary ammonia for sanitizer buckets and shall also provide test strips to measure proper levels. Chlorine test strips are present. 0102 FOOD ESTAB. W/FOOD PREP 50-149 SEATS
10-10-2018 The premises of each food facility shall be kept clean and free of litter and rubbish; all clean and soiled linen shall be properly stored; non-food items shall be stored and displayed separate from food and food-contact surfaces; the facility shall be kept free of vermin. (114067 (j), 114123, 114143 (a) & (b), 114175, 114178, 114185, 114185.1, 114185.2, 114185.3, 114185.4, 114256, 114256.1, 114256.2, 114256.4, 114257, 114257.1, 114259, 114259.1, 114259.2, 114259.3, 114279, 114281, 114282) 2.00 All food facilities shall be kept clean, fully operative, and in good repair. A food facility shall at all times be so constructed, equipped, maintained, and operated as to prevent the entrance and harborage of animals, birds, and vermin, including, but not limited to, rodents and insects. The premises of each food facility shall be kept clean and free of litter, rubbish, and vermin.

Lockers or other suitable facilities shall be provided and used for the orderly storage of employee clothing and other possessions. Lockers or other suitable facilities shall be located in a designated room or area where contamination of food, equipment, utensils, linens, and single-use articles cannot occur. Dressing rooms or dressing areas shall be provided and used by employees if the employees regularly change their clothes in the facility.
Observed rat droppings throughout the facility. Clean and increase frequency to prevent build up. Upon arriving and heading into the cook line area rat droppings were discovered on the shelf under the bread warmer. Employee immediately cleaned. 0102 FOOD ESTAB. W/FOOD PREP 50-149 SEATS
10-10-2018 Toilet facilities shall be maintained clean, sanitary and in good repair. Toilet rooms shall be separated by a well-fitting self-closing door. Toilet tissue shall be provided in a permanently installed dispenser at each toilet. The number of toilet facilities shall be in accordance with local building and plumbing ordinances. Toilet facilities shall be provided for patrons: in establishments with more than 20,000 sq ft.; establishments offering on-site food consumption. (113953, 113953.1, 113953.2, 114250, 114250.1, 114276) 2.00 Provide clean toilet facilities in good repair. Provide permanently installed toilet tissue dispenser(s) in all toilet facilities. Provide handwashing facilities within or adjacent to all toilet facilities. Soap shall be provided in dispensers at, or adjacent to, handwashing facilities. Single-use sanitary towels in dispensers or hot-air blowers shall be provided at handwashing facilities.

Customer restrooms are required for food facilities of more than 20,000 square feet if they were constructed after July 1 1984, and also applies to facilities of any size that were constructed after January 1, 2004 where there is onsite consumption of food. A "take-out only" food facility, with no seating indoors or outdoors, may not be required to provide customer restrooms. Check with the Division of Environmental Health and with the appropriate Planning Department before removing or restricting access to customer restrooms.
Observed the temperature of the water at the right hand wash sink inside the women's restroom is measured at 120F. Adjust the water temperature of the hand wash station so that is is between 100F - 108F. 0102 FOOD ESTAB. W/FOOD PREP 50-149 SEATS
10-10-2018 Failure to keep food pure and free from contamination, adulteration and spoilage. Any food is adulterated if it bears or contains any poisonous or deleterious substance that may render it impure or injurious to health. (113967, 113976, 113980, 113988, 113990, 114035, 114254(c), 114254.3) 2.00 Provide adequate protection at all times to keep food pure and free from contamination, adulteration and spoilage. Destroy all contaminated, adulterated and spoiled food. (CDI) Observed two bags of cook chill soup and salad dressing that were being held past the due date. All cook chill items expire 30 days after manufacture date on bag if held under 41F. Both bags of food items were destroyed and tossed during inspection. 0102 FOOD ESTAB. W/FOOD PREP 50-149 SEATS
10-10-2018 An accurate easily readable metal probe thermometer suitable for measuring temperature of food shall be available to the food handler. A thermometer +/- 2°F shall be provided for each hot and cold holding unit of potentially hazardous foods and high temperature warewashing machines. (114157, 114159) 2.00 Have a thermometer accurate to within 2°F or 1°C in each hot and cold holding unit. Have a metal probe type thermometer readily available on premises (to all appropriate staff) that is calibrated in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications as necessary to ensure accuracy. Observed the lack of thermometers in all fridge units that contain potentially hazardous foods. Provide a thermometer at the front of each fridge unit at all times in units that hold potentially hazardous foods. 0102 FOOD ESTAB. W/FOOD PREP 50-149 SEATS
10-10-2018 Food shall be thawed under refrigeration, completely submerged under cold running water of sufficient velocity to flush loose particles, in a microwave oven, or during the cooking process. (114018, 114020, 114020.1) 7.00 Frozen potentially hazardous food shall only be thawed in one of the following ways:
(a) Under refrigeration that maintains the food temperature at 41°F or below.
(b) Completely submerged under potable running water for a period not to exceed two hours at a water temperature of 70°F or below, and with sufficient water velocity to agitate and flush off loose particles into the sink drain.
(c) In a microwave oven if immediately followed by immediate preparation.
(d) As part of a cooking process.
Observed a tray of enchiladas thawing at room temperature in the back area near the ice machine. This is improper thawing. Thaw all food items under running water, under refrigeration, or as part of the cooking method. Tray was moved into the walk-in fridge during inspection. 0102 FOOD ESTAB. W/FOOD PREP 50-149 SEATS
10-10-2018 The potable water supply shall be protected with a backflow or back siphonage protection device, as required by applicable plumbing codes. (114192) All plumbing and plumbing fixtures shall be installed in compliance with local plumbing ordinances, shall be maintained so as to prevent any contamination, and shall be kept clean, fully operative, and in good repair. Any hose used for conveying potable water shall be of approved materials, labeled, properly stored, and used for no other purpose. (114171, 114189.1, 114190, 114192.1, 114193, 114193.1, 114195, 114197, 114199, 114201, 114269) 2.00 All plumbing and plumbing fixtures shall be installed in compliance with local plumbing ordinances, shall be maintained so as to prevent any contamination, and shall be kept clean, fully operative, and in good repair. Observed leaking hand wash sink in the back dish washing area when hot water is provided to the faucet. Hot water was turned off to prevent leak. Hot water was then turned back on during the inspection. Repair so there is no longer a leak and hot water may be left on for proper hand washing. 0102 FOOD ESTAB. W/FOOD PREP 50-149 SEATS