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

The most recent inspection of this food facility resulted in a rating of
Good (Total Points: 6.00)
0-6  Points: Good
7-13 Points: Satisfactory
14+  Points: Unsatisfactory
Rating on date 11-17-2021: Good (Total Points: 6.00)
DateViolationPointsCorrectionInspector CommentsFacility Area
11-17-2021 Potentially hazardous foods shall be held at or below 41°/ 45°F or at or above 135°F. (113996, 113998, 114037, 114343(a)) 6.00 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. REPEAT: Observed diced tomatoes and other items on the flip top garnish cooler measured at 49 degrees. Items immediately relocated to the walk in cooler. Discussed need for control point of either time or temperature (temperature is default unless 'Time Control' documentation is present and implemented with Active Managerial Control). Operator states he will use time control with this cooler unit. Ensure all items are marked with the 'toss by' time that is NOT more than four (4) hours past the time it is removed from temperature control, and ensure bins are washed rinsed and sanitized prior to being refilled and marked with a new 'toss by' time. New bins of garnish items prepared and marked with stickers for date/toss by time. Corrected during inspection. 0102 FOOD ESTAB. W/FOOD PREP 50-149 SEATS


Rating on date 10-14-2021: Unsatisfactory - reinspection required (Total Points: 16.00)
DateViolationPointsCorrectionInspector CommentsFacility Area
10-14-2021 Potentially hazardous foods shall be held at or below 41°/ 45°F or at or above 135°F. (113996, 113998, 114037, 114343(a)) 7.00 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. (1) Observed the temperature of the diced tomatoes was measured at 46°F in the garnish flip top cooler unit. Keep all cold potentially hazardous foods at or below 41°F. Adjust and / or repair this unit; do not use it for the display of PHF (potentially hazardous food) items until it is shown to consistently capable of holding food at or below 41ºF at all times. Out of temperature PHF items relocated to a properly functioning cooler. The TEMPORARY use of ice under items in this unit / time control of not more than 4 hours (items MUST be marked with the 'toss by' time and checked at least hourly) may be used while this unit is repaired or replaced. Verify temperatures with a properly calibrated probe thermometer and do NOT rely on the build in thermometer for this unit. Corrected during inspection.

(2) Observed the temperature of the marinara sauce on the steam table was measured at 127 °F. Hold all hot potentially hazardous foods at or above 135°F. Out of temperature items immediately relocated to the stove and were reheated to an internal temperature of at least 165ºF for at least 15 seconds and then returned to the steam table where they will be held at a temperature of at least 135°F / steam table to be adjusted and checked with a thermometer. Use a probe thermometer to verify that items held on the steam table are held at or above 135°F at all times. Corrected during inspection.
0102 FOOD ESTAB. W/FOOD PREP 50-149 SEATS
10-14-2021 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) 3.00 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.
(1) Observed a glass in the handwash sink in the waitress station front counter area. Glass immediately removed. Do not use hand washing sinks for any other purpose. Corrected during inspection.

(2) Maintenance issue related to at least three soap dispensers (mens restroom, womens restroom, primary kitchen handwash sink) where unit is partially broken or held together with tape, plastic, or other materials. Properly repair. Provide functioning soap dispensers that operate as designed, and that themselves have smooth and easily cleanable surfaces (to reduce cross contamination potential).

(3) Maintenance issue related to at least three paper towel dispensers (mens restroom, womens restroom, primary kitchen handwash sink) where units are held closed with duct tape or plastic. Properly repair. Provide a sanitary hand drying method at each handwash sink location that properly functions to its originally designed commercial grade standard. Do not use duct tape to repair commercial grade items as the adhesive creates debris accumulation points that can act as cross contamination sources.
0102 FOOD ESTAB. W/FOOD PREP 50-149 SEATS
10-14-2021 All nonfood contact surfaces of utensils and equipment shall be clean. (114115, 114130.4) 1.00 Clean nonfood contact surfaces of equipment at a frequency necessary to prevent accumulation of residue. Observed significant grease and char buildup in the hood on the left side above the char broiler / pasta boiling area. Increase cleaning frequency and efficacy so as to prevent the accumulation of visible residue and reduce possible fire hazard. 0102 FOOD ESTAB. W/FOOD PREP 50-149 SEATS
10-14-2021 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.
REPEAT: Observed cracked tiles still present on the outside corner of the walk-in refrigerator. Properly repair. 0102 FOOD ESTAB. W/FOOD PREP 50-149 SEATS
10-14-2021 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) 1.00 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.
(1) Observed worn and cracked seal on ice machine door. Also observed minor accumulation of residue on deflector plate inside ice machine. Repair or replace seal on door to ensure surfaces are smooth, easily cleanable, and able to be sanitized on a regular basis. Ensure all surfaces in the ice machine are regularly sanitized at a sufficient frequency so as to prevent the accumulation of visible residue.

(2) Observed the liner in the middle flip top cooler section (pantry cooler) is loose on the left side, hangs down when lid is opened. Hinge area on right upper lid loose, has tape trying to hold it in place. Black plastic door handle liners also broken on 2 of the 3 lower doors. Appropriately repair this unit such that all surfaces are smooth and easily cleanable and unit functions to its original commercial design.
0102 FOOD ESTAB. W/FOOD PREP 50-149 SEATS
10-14-2021 Exhaust hoods shall be provided to remove toxic gases, heat, grease, vapors, and smoke and be approved by the local building department. Canopy-type hoods shall extend 6" beyond all cooking equipment. All areas shall have sufficient ventilation to facilitate proper food storage. Toilet rooms shall be vented to the outside air by a screened openable window, an air shaft, or a light-switch activated exhaust fan, consistent with local building codes. (114149, 114149.1) Adequate lighting shall be provided in all areas to facilitate cleaning and inspection. Light fixtures in areas where open food is stored, served, prepared, and where utensils are washed shall be of shatterproof construction or protected with light shields. (114149.2, 114149.3, 114252, 114252.1) 1.00 All areas shall have sufficient ventilation to facilitate proper food storage and to provide a reasonable condition of comfort for each employee, consistent with the job performed by the employee.

Light fixtures in areas where food is prepared, open food is stored, or utensils are cleaned shall be of shatterproof construction or shall be protected with shatterproof shields and shall be readily cleanable. In every room and area in which any food is prepared, manufactured, processed, or prepackaged, or in which equipment or utensils are cleaned, sufficient natural or artificial lighting shall be provided to produce the following light intensity, while the area is in use:
(a) At least 10-foot candles for the following:
(1) At a distance of 30 inches above the floor, in walk-in refrigeration units, and dry food storage areas.
(2) At a working surface on which alcoholic beverages are prepared or where utensils used in the preparation or service of alcoholic beverages are cleaned.
(3) Inside equipment, such as reach-in or under-the-counter refrigerators.
(b) At least 20-foot candles for the following:
(1) At a surface where food is provided for consumer self-service or where fresh produce or prepackaged foods are sold or offered for consumption.
(2) In server stations where food is prepared.
(3) At a distance of 30 inches above the floor in areas used for handwashing, warewashing, and equipment and utensil storage, and in toilet rooms.
(c) Except in server stations where food is prepared, at least 50-foot candles at a surface where a food employee is working with food or working with utensils or equipment such as knives, slicers, grinders, or saws where employee safety is a factor.
(1) Observed one light fixture in / over the hood does not function, bulb may be burned out. Replace bulb and / or repair fixture. Failure to provide adequate lighting.

(2) Observed lack of a shatterproof cover on the bulb in the walk in freezer. Provide. Light fixtures in area where food is prepared, open food is stored, or utensils are cleaned shall be of shatterproof construction or shall be protected with shatterproof shields and shall be readily cleanable.
0102 FOOD ESTAB. W/FOOD PREP 50-149 SEATS
10-14-2021 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) 1.00 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 toilet paper dispenser in mens restroom will not stay closed, lock mechanism may be broken. Repair so as to properly provide toilet paper in functioning dispensers for sanitary dispensing. 0102 FOOD ESTAB. W/FOOD PREP 50-149 SEATS


Rating on date 1-22-2020: Satisfactory (Total Points: 7.00)
DateViolationPointsCorrectionInspector CommentsFacility Area
1-22-2020 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) 1.00 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 cracked tiles on the outside corner of the walkin refrigerator. Repair. 0102 FOOD ESTAB. W/FOOD PREP 50-149 SEATS
1-22-2020 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) 1.00 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.
Observed CO2 tanks that was not secured to a rigid structure. Keep pressurized tanks secured. 0102 FOOD ESTAB. W/FOOD PREP 50-149 SEATS
1-22-2020 All food shall be separated and protected from contamination. (113984, 113986, 113988, 113990, 114060, 114067, 114069, 114077, 114079, 114089.1 (c), 114143 (c)) 1.00 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 the salad topping were not covered when not in use. Keep covered. 0102 FOOD ESTAB. W/FOOD PREP 50-149 SEATS
1-22-2020 All nonfood contact surfaces of utensils and equipment shall be clean. (114115, 114130.4) 1.00 Clean nonfood contact surfaces of equipment at a frequency necessary to prevent accumulation of residue. Observed the minor accumulation of syrup below the soda dispensing heads. Improve cleaning.

Observed the accumulation of dust on the walkin refrigerator fan covers. Improve cleaning.
0102 FOOD ESTAB. W/FOOD PREP 50-149 SEATS
1-22-2020 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) 3.00 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 the tempered water for the left women's hand washing sink measured at 116 degrees F. Adjust tempered water to between 100 degrees F to 108 degrees F. 0102 FOOD ESTAB. W/FOOD PREP 50-149 SEATS