Restaurant Owner Livid Over Incorrect Report on Health Inspection
"You won't find a cleaner kitchen or a cleaner restaurant anywhere." That's how Rocky Fiato, the owner of the Waterfront Grille located on the Erie Canal at Gems Along the Mohawk describes the restaurant he and his wife Barb own in Herkimer.
"I take pride in the food we serve and my kitchen is spotless," he told WIBX's Keeler in the Morning recently. "If I sold an appliance out of my kitchen, people would think it was new; that's how clean it is."
So, you can imagine when people started telling him they just read a report in the Observer Dispatch that he had a recent inspection back in April that showed several violations, he was not happy.
Fiato told WIBX the inspector flagged him for improper storage of tuna salad, which was just made during the lunch hour. "We always stored it that way while we were using it and no other inspector had an issue with it. This inspector told us it was a violation, what he wanted and we did it and our single violation was listed as corrected," said Fiato. "But the report in the newspaper printed the whole category so it made it look like I had all of these violations, which I didn't," he said. "We don't store food on the floor, I don't have smoked salmon on the menu and then it mentioned we didn't have sneeze guards...that doesn't even apply to us because it's for a buffet which we don't have," he added.
May 17, 2018 - Observer Dispatch:
Potentially hazardous foods are not kept at or below 45°F during cold holding, except smoked fish not kept at or below 38°F during cold holding.; Food not protected during storage, preparation, display, transportation and service, from potential sources of contamination (e.g., food uncovered, mislabeled, stored on floor, missing or inadequate sneeze guards, food containers double stacked).
Fiato filed his complaint with Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi and Assemblyman Marc Butler who looked into the matter. Since then, Assemblyman Butler said he didn't believe the problem was with the NYS Health Department; but, with the way some media outlets were printing the "full section of the law in which each violation falls, rather than the violation itself and whether that violation was corrected." Butler's office and the Herkimer County Chamber of Commerce communicated with the Observer Dispatch, which came up with a more accurate way to report the inspections moving forward.
In a letter sent to the Fiatos, Butler said, "It is important that consumers are informed of health violations at local establishments; however, it is really important that business violations be reported accurately. I am confident that our local news media are doing just that."
Listen to the interview with Rocky Fiato here: