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Boylston Street salad place shut for health violations

A Boston health inspector yesterday shut Sweetgreen, 659 Boylston St., for a variety of violations, including keeping food at the wrong temperatures and workers not doing enough to keep the food they touch clean.

Among the violations: Cooked salmon wasn't kept warm enough while kale, spinach and sprouts weren't kept cool enough. Also, food preparers weren't changing their gloves after making each dish and they didn't have a sink for washing their hands. And:

Employee preparing and giving out samples in customer line - Food is not protected from sneezing, caughing, touching and contamination.

Sweetgreen was also cited for not doing more to keep pets out:

Customer in restaurant with small dog - [Person in charge] was unaware and did not take corrective action until pointed out by Inspector.

The restaurant can re-open after it passes a re-inspection.

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Comments

perhaps they should focus more on sanitation practices and a bit less on sustainability practices?

Also, it sounds like they may need to hire a new manager.

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Sustainability isn't the problem, otherwise your see a lot more incidents like this in a lot more places with sustainable practices.

Hit the nail on the head with the second observation though - management isn't doing its job :/

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Bummer. I had an excellent lunch there a few weeks back and I appreciate the healthy options. However, since they do not take proper food handling and sanitation measures seriously, I will avoid in the future. Food preparers didn't have a sink for hand washing? There's no excuse for that. Disgusting.

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I tried this location for the first time last week, including the "unprotected" sample station. I guess I'm glad I got one of the vegetarian options?

I do wonder how many other venues that provide free samples are in violation of existing standards.

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You can still get food-borne infections from vegetarian fare, it's just different pathogens than under-cooked meat. for example, e coli on improperly handled greens.

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honest question - you're supposed to change gloves after making every dish? i worked in food service, admittedly 10 years ago at this point, but still. that seems... horribly inefficient.

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Would you want someone who just handled raw meat to then prepare your salad while using the same gloves?

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At places like this (and in fact definitely at the three Sweetgreens I've been to), all of the meats are cooked back-of-house and the meats where the meals are actually put together are cooked. They also have individual tongs/spoons for each ingredient.

Changing your latex gloves after every salad when you're using tongs and spoons and not really touching the food with your hands does seem to me like overkill, yes.

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well yes, in that case, obviously. i was assuming everything was precooked and it was just 'make salad 1, change gloves, make salad 2.'

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Ch. 7 news reported that someone had gotten sick from eating a salad.

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IMAGE(https://elmercatdotorg.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/salsa-sidewalk.jpg)
           Salsa and sour cream were seen splattered on a sidewalk in Cambridge last week.

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How many OTHER fine eating institutions in our great city are getting sloppy with health codes. . . I bet there's a lot more than we think . . .

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There was a time when inspections only occurred if somebody turned up with a major infection at a hospital. Even then, the findings were kept secret.

This is more reason that we need restaurants to post grades.

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They didn't have sink for hand-washing? isn't there some inspection required before a restaurant opens where they should have caught that? Are restaurants required to have any such inspection before opening to the public - or do they just wait for the yearly inspection?

Anyone know the answer? Because that's a pretty glaring violation.

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There is a very lengthy process to get a restaurant opened in the city. The hand washing sink is a major part of that. They need to be within so many feet. I would love to know how the restaurant was signed off to open without one.

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It's possible they had one when they opened and then it leaked or something and got shut off. Or got used for food prep or dish-washing instead.

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...it's basically across the street, and they may have more space to have things like, sinks.

Great salads, pricey but worth it (if I don't get sick).

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Wouldn't it be helpful if everyone in the food industry be given a copy ofthe ISD codes so they can circulate copies of the same to all their employees (upon hiring)? Can the codes be printed off in different languages accordingly, as the case may be? Or is this already protocol? I admit, I have NFC about going into restaurant business, so I don't know.

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One of the requirements of getting a health certificate in Boston is having somebody on duty at all times who knows the relevant health codes and can instruct workers in same - and watch them to make sure they're observing them. That wasn't being done here, according to the inspector.

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And food service establishments are required by law to have relevant parts of healthcode posted. They usually are, in every place I've worked, but that's the extent of it -- it's not like most managers walk around constantly checking employee compliance, and directing them what to do. Often, food places are designed stupidly from the staff/employee functionality POV, so in order to follow health code it can require that employees do things that make their tasks much more complex or involved. Thus, each sandwich (or whatever) ends up being more work; and once you multiply that by the 100s of sandwiches employees have to make per day, it adds a lot of extra work to an already challenging job. If you have to walk 15 ft to a hand-wash sink, and it's busy, you might not.

Did you know hand-washing sinks have to be reserved for hand-washing only, and cannot be used to even rinse anything else?

Also, running restaurants is a game of very thin margins, and following health code to the letter can be a cost that the owners are not willing to bear; so they tell employees to use money saving measures, like reuse gloves, etc.

Restaurant kitchens can be disgusting...

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Last week I saw a patron let their dog pee right on the patio beside them, while they ate lunch at Sweetgreen.

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Delightful! More quinoa please.

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In fairness, it should be pointed out that health Inspectors weren’t doing their job either, since the joint was allowed to open without all necessary equipment in place and operational. Healthy food starts with good inspections.

MAHTY...ah ya listnin'??

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