You will be hardpressed to find a restaurant that has never had a minor food inspection violation. It's the bigger violations that matter — the ones that require additional inspections.
Fast-food chains are often... interesting. When it comes to health inspection reports, you never know what you're going to find, and that's not the kind of thing you want in a place to get your breakfast, lunch, latte or ice cream.
All establishments that serve food are required to have food inspections by Boston's Inspectional Services Department Division of Health. All reports are available at the Mayor's Food Court website.
Below are some highlights (or lowlights) at chain restaurants across the city's neighborhoods.
- at 315 Centre St., received a violation during a Feb. 6, 2012 inspection because the "spoon to stir latte's is being stored directly on a visible soiled counter top." Gross!
- at 659 Centre St., had "some fruit flies in the back" during a July 13, 2011 inspection. During an April 11, 2011 inspection, the business was told to "remove dead rodent on trap and provide extermination... rodent proof all doors and possible entry ways..."
- , was required be re-inspected after a Jan. 25, 2012 inspection revealed improper cold holding of chicken salad, as well as strawberries. The business corrected the problems and passed a follow-up inspection on Feb. 1, 2012.
- , was required to be re-inspected after a March 2, 2012 inspection revealed that the "bottom of donut display area with dust and crumb build up." The business passed its required followup inspection seven days later.
- at 800 Boylston St., was required to have a re-inspection after its Nov. 8, 2011 inspection, which found the front cafe had "40+ fruit flies noted on walls behind and throughout the coffee bar." The business was instructed to contact pest control immediately and educated staff on proper cleaning of spills. The business passed its Nov. 22, 2011 followup inspection.
- , has been required to be re-inspected four times since November, 2010. From a Nov. 9, 2010 inspection, the business was told to "remove evidence of fly infestation. Flies observed throughout service area." The business was required to provide exterminator reports with details with fly issues for the followup inspection, which it passed. From a Feb. 15 report from this year, an inspector noted the "person in charge cannot explain illness policy" and there was "no proof of full time certified food protection manager & allergen certification." Both of those are regarded as a "critical foodborne illness" violation, which requires re-inspection that the bagel shop passed.
- The Donut-N-Donuts business at 1 Sullivan St., has had seven re-inspections required since Sept. 9, 2010. Thrice the businesss was told to "properly remove all evidence of live fruit flies in establishment"—after an August 30, 2011 report, on Dec. 1, 2011, and again the following week on Dec. 8, 2011.
- Emack & Bolio's at 1 Chelsea St., needed a re-inspection after an April 9, 2012 report, had inspectors find "evidence of rodent droppings in front cabinets. Provide exterminator receipt." Another critical violation from that day included the ice cream shop needing to provide a 2012 Food Allergey Awareness Certificate and a Health Permit.
- , needed two re-inspections in Nov. 2010, after failing to provide proper cold holding temperatures at the deli area, specifically the tuna, both times. Maybe it's best to not get tuna there?
- Subway at 340 Longwood Ave., were told about rodent problems on a Jan. 14, 2011 inspection, "upper storage cage/remove evidence of rodent droppings." And two different times the business was written up for not providing proper temperatures for tuna and meatballs.
- On the flip side is Au Bon Pain at 1 Joslin Place, which received it's first inspection report on May 18, 2012, passed with flying colors without a single violation - not even a minor one!
- Dunkin' Donuts at 818 Harrison Ave., needed to "remove evidence of fruit flies" after a June 11, 2012 inspection. Also, while not critical, they needed to "replaced stained missing tile above toaster"—doesn't that just sound gross?
- Chequers Express at 100 Newton St., had "no certified person on site" for a Nov. 30, 2010 inspection, and needed to "provide documentation of at least one full time employee who has been enrolled in a Safe Serv class for re-inspection."
- at 667 VFW Parkway, had to be re-inspected after a Jan. 26, 2012 inspection found expired milks in the front refrigerator.
- at 155 Spring St., had "small flies in the establishment" and the business needed to show the pest reports treating the flies in a followup inspection.
- at 5318 Washington St., had several food-related violations for improper storage temperatures during a Nov. 1, 2011 inspection, as well as "paper wrappers for the biscuits that are stored in the cardboard containers originally holding raw chicken. Do not use cardboard containers for raw chicken and keep paper products stored safely."
[Editor's note: An item was removed from this list because the restaurant is not a chain.]