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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Thursday, December 09, 2021
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Grace Coffee Co. facing fire for recent health code violations

Grace Coffee Company, with five current locations and plans for expansion, has recently been found with numerous health code violations at each location.

Both the State Street and East Washington Avenue locations of Grace Coffee received the two most health violations out of the 564 restaurants and retail food locations that were reviewed by the Public Health of Madison and Dane County (PHMDC) this year. 

The East Washington Avenue location, with 19 violations, was also found to have the most priority violations (11), making it a CDC Risk Factor as of Sept. 28, 2021. Priority violations must be corrected immediately, as they are likely to cause foodborne illnesses.

“PHMDC conducts unannounced inspections to verify compliance with priority (CDC risk factor) and other good retail practice violations,” Morgan Finke, spokesperson for Public Health of Madison and Dane County told The Daily Cardinal. “Priority violations may be directly linked to foodborne illnesses; therefore, immediate correction is required. When there are 10 or more priority violations or 15 or more total violations, the inspector notifies the supervisor for additional support.” 

The State Street location had 20 violations as of Sept. 3, the most out of all the businesses surveyed. Violations recorded included contamination of “a bag of granulated sugar visibly contaminated by a leaking wastewater drain [from the upstairs kitchen hand washing sink],” as well as a priority violation of “no certified food protection manager for the establishment.”

After reinspection of the State Street location on Oct. 25, there were still three unresolved violations and one unresolved priority violation. These included having no certified food protection manager, evidence of pests (flies) and “wood shelves in the kitchen, and a wood support post that are not sealed and not cleanable.”

The East Washington Avenue location also had five remaining violations and one remaining priority violation after a reinspection on Oct. 22. 

“We have worked very closely with the Dane county health department, and all stores are cleared, no violations,” Grace Coffee Co. told The Daily Cardinal. “We’ve hired a sanitation manager who will keep all Grace locations in the best shape! We’re making a lot of changes to the day-to-day operations as well and [implementing] extensive training with both front of house and back of house employees.”

“Having 10 or more priority violations, or 15 or more total violations, is rare, but does happen on occasion,” said Finke. “In these situations, the health inspector works closely with the operator to gain compliance and maintain safe food practices, which is what happened in this case [and] we are satisfied with the outcome.”

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