By: Don Shaw email: (570) 543-2961

19 violations at Carrabba’s Italian Grill in Lancaster; noxious odor emanating from inside the cooler

19 violations at Carrabba’s Italian Grill in Lancaster; noxious odor emanating from inside the cooler

Lancaster, PA

Carrabba’s Italian Grill


The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Food Safety and Laboratory Services conducted an unannounced retail food inspection on 2/27/2020. As a result of that inspection, and due to the severity of the specific violations Carrabba’s Italian Grill i was cited as being, “Out of Compliance” with Pennsylvania’s food safety regulations. During this inspection a total of 19 violations were found.

The inspector made the following comments in support of the violations found during the inspection:

  • The Person in Charge does not have adequate knowledge of food safety in this food facility as evidenced by this non-compliant inspection.
  • Observed an extreme amount of old burnt food debris on the catch-trays of all stoves
  • Food employee personal belongings strewn about, jackets and shoes observed on top of a bag of flour, although lockers are provided.
  • Water and food debris collecting on the “floor” of the reach-in cooler. Observed a noxious odor emanating from inside the cooler.
  • Observed single-service, single-use articles (food containers) stored in the storage area directly on the floor, and not 6 inches above the floor.
  • Clean food equipment on storage rack in the dish washing area, stored wet in a manner that does not allow for draining and/or air drying (wet nesting).*
  • Bags of onions and potatoes stored directly on the floor in the walk-in cooler, rather than 6 inches off of the floor as required.
  • Missing welds at the top portion of the 3 compartment sink dividers. Water is seeping through from the top of the dividers where the welds were.
  • Observed several metal food containers on the storage rack, with old food residue inside, all stored as clean.
  • An excessive amount of old food residue observed on the inner rim and blade of the slicer.
  • Observed old food residue on the can opener blade.
  • Paper towel dispenser empty at the hand-wash sink in the pizza making area.
  • Mushroom gravies were held at 102 and 92°F respectively, on the steam table, rather than 135°F or above as required.**
  • Observed black duct tape, which is not an approved material for repair, being used for repair on the end of the appetizer station.
  • Old food residue observed in the hand-wash sink in the pizza making area, indicating uses other than hand washing.
  • Observed an extreme amount of trash, grease, and food debris in these areas: behind all stoves, beneath all stoves, behind fryers, beneath fryers, the drain beneath the hand-wash sink in the pizza area.
  • Raw beef stored directly on top of vegetables in the reach-in cooler.
  • Observed the lids for the fryers and the lids for the cold-holding units being stored on the floor in the pizza making area.
  • Deeply scored cutting boards not resurfaced or discarded as required.
  • Observed old food residue on the shelves in the walk-in cooler.
  • Food residue and debris observed in the drain beneath the hand-wash sink in the pizza making area.
  • Observed a pink and black slime inside the nozzle of the spray-wand in the dish washing area. Observed a tan and pink slimy residue around the entrance of the mechanical dishwasher.
  • The faucet at the hand-wash sink near the coffee maker is leaking water. Observed water leaking somewhere from beneath the water well creating standing water in the pizza making area.
  • Observed several cracked, loose, and missing tiles throughout the cooking area and the back food preparation area. There is standing water beneath the tiles creating a noxious odor. When tiles are stepped on water shoots out from beneath them.

* Wet nesting refers to the practice of placing two recently-washed items together in a nested fashion, preventing proper airflow. In a moist, dark, low-air environment, unseen bacteria grows unchecked, and suddenly that mixing bowl is a biological incident waiting to happen. Even at high temperatures, the food or ingredients you place on that wet-nested kitchen equipment can act as an accidental insulator, or even as fuel for further bacterial growth.

** The temperature danger zone is food temperatures between 41 and 135 degrees Fahrenheit and the most rapid bacteria growth occurs between 70 and 125 degrees Fahrenheit. The longer food sits in this temperature range, the greater the risk that bacteria will begin to grow on food.