DCW50 Dirty Dining: Masala Wok, Pita House

While many of us enjoy eating out-- do we really know what's going on in the kitchen? DCW is launching our new segment called "DCW Dirty Dining" and showing the restaurants in the DMV that have violated the health code -and one that`s doing a great a job.

For our first segment we are focusing on Northern Virginia.

Two days after christmas, health inspectors paid a visit to the Masala Wok on Herndon parkway in Fairfax County. They found four critical violations including: open drinking containers in areas where they could contaminate food; cooked chicken not being adequately cooled; chicken on prep tables that had to be moved to a walk-in freezer; and cleaning fluid in spray bottles that were not properly labeled. The health department says that all four violations were corrected during the inspection.

About two weeks later, a follow up inspection was conducted, and no critical violations were found.

On January 10th, health inspectors visited the Pita House on king Street in Alexandria. They observed three "priority" violations, including: ready to eat salmon that was not frozen to ensure parasite destruction;yogurt and salsa not being stored at the correct temperatures; seasoned raw beef stored on top of chemical containers inside the electrical room; and finally, the restaurant was found to have no health policy for employees.

The last one was apparently a repeat violation, and is an important one, because such a policy requires employees that could be handling food to report certain symptoms and illnesses to management.The health department says a follow-up inspection is required for the Pita House.

Patrons of Tammy`s Diner in Loudoun County will be happy to hear that they dine at one of the best restaurants in the area when it comes to health inspections. Since 2015, they have only had one violation. That violation occurred back in August, when the test strips for the dish machine were found to be missing, which is a relatively minor violation. Their last inspection on January 11th found no problems, as is typically the case at Tammy`s.

It's worth pointing out that some cities and counties in Virginia use different terminology when conducting inspections - so in one locality, a critical violation is the same as a priority violation in another.

In the coming weeks, we're going to be taking a look at restaurant inspections all across the DMV, and you can always send tips about dirty dining establishments to newstips@dcw50.com.

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