Franklin County Public Health has issued a warning letter to a Hilliard restaurant for several “critical” and “noncritical” food-safety-code violations found during a standard inspection.

Examples of critical violations include "improper cooking temperatures and improper holding temperatures," according to Franklin County Public Health. Examples of noncritical violations include "maintenance and cleaning issues."

The warning letter was issued April 10 to the Olive Tree Mediterranean Cafe, 3185 Hilliard-Rome Road in Hilliard, after the restaurant failed to address violations recorded during previous visits dating back to Feb. 6, said Michelle Day, a communications specialist for Franklin County Public Health.

The letter said the facility has been entered into "enforcement procedures.”

The letter states an additional follow-up inspections would be performed and more violations would lead to an administrative hearing that could result in a license suspension or revocation.

The situation began Feb. 6 when health inspectors reported finding one critical and five non-critical violations, Day said.

According to the inspection report, a hand-washing sink for employees was "not easily accessible" because it was blocked by a blender and was reported as a critical violation.

It was corrected during the inspection, according to the report.

A follow-up inspection March 9 resulted in four critical and 8 noncritical violations, and another March 28 revealed one critical and six noncritical violations, she said.

The March 9 inspection found critical violations that included date-marked temperature-controlled food not being discarded properly; a wash solution not being maintained at the proper temperature; and a blocked hand-washing sink for employees.

The March 28 critical violation involved date-marked, temperature-controlled food not being discarded properly.

After the March 28 inspection, the health department received a public complaint, prompting a March 30 inspection that resulted in five critical and two noncritical violations, Day said.

The March 30 critical violations included blanched potatoes that were at too cool a temperature and had not been discarded properly; a potato slicer not being properly cleaned; and a blocked hand-washing sink for employees.

Most recently, inspectors visited April 5 and found six critical and seven noncritical violations and on April 10 found four critical and nine noncritical violations, she said.

The April 5 critical violations included food not being protected from contamination by separation and segregation; failure to ensure proper methods regulating rapidly cooling foods; and dirty food-contact surfaces, specifically a potato slicer.

The April 10 critical violations were rice not being kept at 113 degrees, below the 135-degree requirement to prevent pathogens; and the presence of poisonous or toxic chemicals not properly labeled with the name of the material.

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