11 restaurants fail inspections in October

By Pamela G. Dempsey/CU-CitizenAccess.org

Eleven restaurants failed health inspections in October, with critical violations ranging from employees not washing hands to potentially hazardous foods out-of-safe temperature ranges.

One restaurant, Smoky's House BBQ, was closed down after it failed a reinspection.

Inspectors temporarily shut down the restaurant at 1333 Savoy Plaza Lane, Savoy, on Oct. 7 after citing the restaurant for five critical violations, including meats such as sausages and ribs that were found to be out-of-safe temperature ranges.

The restaurant scored 13, a failing score. It was allowed to reopen on Oct. 9 after scoring 92 on its follow-up inspection.

Restaurants fail if they score 35 or below. If they score below zero they are automatically closed down. Restaurants with a failing score upon reinspection are also closed down.

Smoky's House BBQ failed its routine health inspection on Sept. 3 with an adjusted score of 24. Inspectors cited the restaurant then for seven critical violations including several pieces of meat that were out-of-safe temperature ranges.

For the past five years, public health officials have worked on a plan to make health inspection results more public.

In 2011, CU-CitizenAccess began posting failed health inspection reports.

Earlier this year, the county board of health directed Champaign-Urbana Public Health District officials to draft ordinances that would require food establishments and restaurants to post a color-coded placard corresponding to health inspection results.

Yet in November, the county board voted down a proposal to do just that.

The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District board, which governs health inspections in the two cities, approved the proposal and will require city restaurants to post a color-coded placard starting in January.

Noted below are the score and number of critical violations of the restaurants and food establishments that failed health inspections in October 2013. Restaurants with adjusted scores 36 or above are considered passing. At four or five points, critical violations are scored higher because of the potential health impact they have on customers.

The score also depends on the amount of non-critical violations, which can range from one point to two.

The total amount of points are deducted from a score of 100, with additional points taken off for the number of critical violations as well as the number of repeat violations.

Bo Bo's BBQ, 1511 W. Springfield Ave., C: Inspected on Oct. 30 with an adjusted score of 35 and four critical violations including employees who were observed not washing hands after drinking from personal beverages and an employee moving a trash bin with hands and then putting on gloves as well as adjusting his clothes, scratching his head and then handling food.

Bombay Indian Grill, 401 E. Green St., C: Inspected on Oct. 22 with an adjusted score of 21 and five critical violations including raw chicken out of safe temperature ranges and homemade yogurt out of temperature ranges. The facility is not licensed to make their own yogurt or milk products.

B. Won, 2006 S. Neil St., C: Inspected on Oct. 3 with an adjusted score of 33 with four critical violations including raw meats and eggs at unsafe temperatures and employees who did not wash their hands.

Chinatown Buffet, 713 Marketview Drive, C: Inspected on Oct. 23 with an adjusted score of 21 and five critical violations including a live baby German roach seen on the wall above the hand sink and employees not washing hands.

Freeman's Tavern, 108 W. Main St., Royal: Inspected on Oct. 17 with an adjusted score of 11 and eight critical violations including an ice machine with an "overly excessive amount of mold"; ready-to-eat food not dated with several foods months past expiration date; raw meat thawing in one compartment of a three-compartment sink, which also held dishes; and no sanitizer available in the facility.

Golden Harbor, 505 S. Neil St., C: Inspected on Oct. 9 with an adjusted score of 35 and three critical violations including raw chicken and shrimp out-of-safe temperature ranges and cooked chicken and eggs out of safe temperature ranges.

Papa D's, 401 E. Green St., C: Inspected on Oct. 22 with an adjusted score of 27 and six critical violations including cooked food out-of-safe temperature ranges and bottles of bleach stored on a food prep counter.

Red Herring Restaurant, 1209 W. Oregon St., U: Inspected on Oct. 2 with an adjusted score of 29 and five critical violations including cooked food out of safe temperature ranges as well as other foods, such as vegan mayo and garlic and oil mixture, out-of-safe temperature ranges.

Traxside Bar and Grill, 4 E. Holden St., Tolono: Inspected on Oct. 29 with an adjusted score of 25 and five critical violations including a container of Cool Whip found molded and open containers of sour cream, milk and deli meat not dated.

Woori Jib, 710 S. Sixth St., C: Inspected on Oct. 28 with an adjusted score of 21 and five critical violations including raw food out-of-safe temperature ranges and dirty water splashing into bowls used for food.

About this project

CU-CitizenAccess.org operates under the Department of Journalism at the University of Illinois and focuses on local investigative reporting, with an emphasis on social, justice and economic issues. The project began with funding from the Marajen Stevick Foundation and the UI and a matching grant from the John S. Knight and James L. Knight Foundation. More restaurant inspection information is available online here.

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787 wrote on December 17, 2013 at 8:12 am

So glad that this finally gets the attention that it deserves.  

For years, the CUPHD's attitude was "trust us... if it is open, then everything is fine... don't worry".

When one gets to read about these violations, then trust isn't enough.  I want to know what is going on myself.  These places are preparing the food that I eat.  I deserve to know what is going on.

Cstraight wrote on December 17, 2013 at 11:12 am

Well said! I go into restaurants regularly and see violations. This makes me sick to my stomach.  Now I see why my granny R.I.P NEVER ate out. I will be cooking more and more at HOME because of this AND my food is better! ugh!

Cstraight wrote on December 17, 2013 at 11:12 am

Btw, I've seen a dead roach on a plate at CHINATOWN buffet, I took it to the cashier and she took it from me and gave me a dirty look, like I did something wrong!!! I've not been back there since and that was over two years ago.

Maria617 wrote on December 18, 2013 at 11:12 am
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A roach crawled out from under my plate at Chinatown Buffet about 7 years ago. Never went back!!!!

pattsi wrote on December 17, 2013 at 3:12 pm

The color coded cards will not tell the story about a restaurant's compliance with CUPHD, especially since a restaurant can remain open with a rather low score. In addition, many of the restuarants listed now and previously are repeat offenders. The colored cards will not enhance behaviour change. I am totally for health inspection, total transparency about the inspections and scores, and a means to covey this information to the general public in an intelligable manner.

thesimpleman wrote on December 17, 2013 at 4:12 pm


look at all the places in town you will be amazed at the ones that needed reinspected.

champaigndouglass wrote on December 17, 2013 at 4:12 pm

Question....why the list only include local small businesses? are we targeting local small businesses? Are we examing the chain stores as well using the same standards?

acylum wrote on December 18, 2013 at 1:12 pm

The list includes those who failed to pass inspection.  Chain restraurants tend to do better in inspections because they tend to have developed specific procedures as they are inspected in multiple locations.  In addition, chain restaurants are subject to internal inspections by area supervisors and upper management.  Many times a violation can be missed in one location but nailed in another.  The company then sends out a change of policy and in the end the multiple restaurants in a chain have corrected the issue universally before it is caught in the local store.  The independant restaurants aren't often aware of the problem until it is brought up to them, and then they quickly fix the problem and score better in subsequent inspections.  I would tend to believe that most of these places have corrected these issues and would be a top rated restaurant now after recieving poor grades on their initial inspections.