Restaurant inspections are conducted by the Niagara County Health Department.
Every establishment that serves food is evaluated at least annually by the department; restaurants rated as high-risk are inspected at least twice a year.
High-, medium- or low-risk categories are based on the people typically served (elderly and children are considered at a high risk for food-borne illnesses, so establishments primarily serving them are seen as high-risk); and the type of food served.
Foods that require a lot of processing, or foods prepared hours or days before serving are considered at a higher risk for carrying food-borne bacteria, which can cause illness.
There is no rating for exemplary restaurants; only violations are noted.
Many restaurants will have one violation or more at one time or another.
They are coded by the health department as: Critical items that could lead to food-borne illness, which must be immediately attended to; or as items relating to sanitation, design, maintenance and cleanliness, which must be corrected by the next regular inspection or as soon as an inspector returns.
Maria's Pizzeria, 8396 State St.; medium risk. Critical violations: none. Sanitation, design, maintenance: seven (cutting table surface has heavy, uncleanable gouges and needs resurfacing; foods kept in non-original containers are not labeled; raw steaks stored above foods that would not receive heat treatment; dirty container in microwave needs washing between uses; floor in back food preparation area is not easily cleanable; some tiles missing on floor by oven; covered trash container needed in employee restroom). Inspected Nov. 19.
The Pendleton House, 6886 S. Transit Road in Pendleton; high risk. Critical violations: two (no accurate food-testing thermometer available, thermometer reading 10 degrees higher than actual temperature, recalibrated; minestrone soup and twice-baked potato filling tested at potentially hazardous temperatures, both discarded). Sanitation, design, etc.: two (ice cream left uncovered on the floor of walk-in freezer; non-food equipment contact surfaces generally dirty). Inspected Nov. 14; notice to discontinue violations issued Nov. 14.
Pizza Hut, 36 Main St.; medium risk. Critical violations: none. Sanitation, design, etc.: three (dish machine racks coated with dark substance and dish drainboard has food particles; manual can-opener blade is dirty; individual half-and-half creamers are stored in melted ice, discarded). Inspected Nov. 19.
Goldsmith's Grand Auction Gallery, 6221 Fisk Road; low risk. No violations. Only single-serve foods during auctions. Inspected Nov. 21.
Gino's New York Pizzeria Restaurant, 5737 S. Transit Road; medium risk. As of Nov. 19 inspection, critical violations: one (no food-testing thermometer available in food preparation area to monitor cooking, reheating and hot holding temperatures of potentially hazardous foods). Sanitation, design, etc.: seven (some food stored uncovered in coolers; single-serve plastic ware stored so contamination could occur; two packages of ham thawed at room temperature; coolers are generally dirty; mens' room does not have self-closing door; ladies' room needs covered trash container; floors have grease and food accumulated along wall and under equipment; light fixtures in rear kitchen area are not shielded). Notice to discontinue violations issued Nov. 19.
As of Dec. 1 reinspection, no critical violations. Sanitation, design, etc.: four (single-serve plastic ware stored so contamination could occur; mens' room does not have self-closing door, door is under repair; no covered trash can in ladies' room; rear ceiling tile and fixture need replacement.)
Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara, 50 Michigan St.; medium risk. As of Nov. 18, operating without a permit. As of Dec. 4 reinspection, no critical violations: Sanitation, design, etc.: one (no food-testing thermometer available, ordered immediately).
Mr. Ed's Friendly Tavern, 23 Main St.; medium risk. Critical violations: none. Sanitation, design, etc.: three (bowl and scoop stored in ice so that contamination might occur; one bar cooler missing door latch, two don't latch properly; kitchen cupboards in poor condition; previous violations corrected and latches ordered). Inspected Nov. 19.
Rose's, 9444 Chestnut Ridge Road; low risk. Critical violations: none. Sanitation, design, maintenance: one (interior of microwave is dirty). Serving only pre-made roast beef, pizza and snacks. Inspected Nov. 19.
Out to Lunch Deli, 2502 Niagara St.; medium risk. Critical violations: none. Sanitation, design, etc.: four (some clean utensils are improperly stored; hair restraints are improper, corrected; walls in cooking area need cleaning, painting; some unnecessary items stored behind lunch counter). Inspected Nov. 10.
Taco Bell, 7300 Niagara Falls Blvd.; medium risk. No violations. Inspected Nov. 12.
Gino's New York Pizza, 302 Rainbow Blvd.; medium risk. Critical violations: two (window cleaner, detergent stored with food in front line area, removed; food-testing thermometer is 17 degrees off, recalibrated). Sanitation, design, etc.: five (pizza and other foods stored uncovered in coolers; accurate thermometers unavailable for refrigerators; wiping cloths not properly stored in sanitizing solution; food service workers' hair improperly restrained; sauce spoons improperly stored). Inspected Nov. 25; notice to discontinue violations issued. As of Dec. 11 reinspection: no violations.
Junior's Truck Stop, 5647 Niagara Falls Blvd.; medium risk. Critical violations: three (no accurate food-testing thermometer; food service worker had only one glove on while making toast; tomato juice stored in original container, opened). Sanitation, design, etc.: eight (ice cream scoops improperly stored; soup and meatballs improperly thawed on counter; cook was drinking in the kitchen area; no sanitation bucket in food preparation area, therefore food contact surfaces not properly sanitized; large cooler shelves are dirty; some ceiling tiles in kitchen area are in disrepair; kitchen walls are dirty and greasy). Notice to discontinue violations issued Nov. 18. Restaurant fined $150 on Nov. 26. As of Dec. 10 reinspection: no violations; all previous violations corrected.
Dante's Ristorante, 2901 Pine Ave.; high risk. Critical violations: one (one of four food-testing thermometers reads 31 degrees too high, corrected). Sanitation, design, etc.: two (kitchen light shield is dirty; walk-in cooler fans are dirty). Inspected Nov. 25.
Centerfolds Night Club and Grill, 3004 Niagara St.; medium risk. No violations. Inspected Nov. 25.
McDonald's, 8420 Niagara Falls Blvd.; medium risk. As of Nov. 26 reinspection, critical violations: none. Sanitation, design, etc.: no hot water available in restrooms).
Lumber City Rock Gym, 1333 Strad Ave.; low risk. Critical violations: none. Sanitation, design, etc.: one (no covered trash can in ladies' room). Only single-service foods. Inspected Nov. 13.
Joe's Budapest Cafe, 350 Schenck Street; low risk. Critical violations: none. Sanitation, design, etc.: two (no hand washing sign in mens' restroom, corrected; clean glasses improperly stored behind bar on cloth, so that contamination could occur). Inspected Nov. 17.
Hoagie Brothers, 92 Webster St.; medium risk. Critical violations: none. Sanitation, design, etc.: four (some areas of cupboards have chipped paint; hood is greasy above food preparation area; worn, dirty carpeting on stairs and upstairs level needs to be replaced with easily cleanable surface; no accurate, probe-type, food-testing thermometer available. Inspected Nov. 26.