22 violations for Ideal Food Basket in Lebanon; Peeling paint on ceiling of meat cutting room, black residue in ice machine

22 violations for Ideal Food Basket in Lebanon; Peeling paint on ceiling of  meat cutting room, black residue in ice machine

Lebanon, PA

Ideal Food Basket

640 N 7th ST
Lebanon, PA 17046

The City of Lebanon Board of Health conducted an unannounced, “Type 3 Follow-up” inspection on 7/8/2020. A Type 3 Follow-up Inspection, generally, occurs to address uncorrected violations. As a result of that inspection, and due to the severity of the specific violations the Ideal Food Baske was cited as being, “Out of Compliance” with Pennsylvania’s food safety regulations. During this inspection a total of 22 violations were found.

Most Recent Inspection Inspection Type In Compliance  
04/22/2020 Complaint In Violation(s) 1
04/09/2020 Complaint In Violation(s) 1
03/26/2020 Regular In Violation(s) 1
12/26/2019 Follow-up In Violation(s) 7
10/16/2019 Type 3 Follow-up In  
10/15/2019 Type 2 Follow-up Out Violation(s) 1
10/12/2019 Follow-up Out Violation(s) 11
09/13/2019 Complaint In Violation(s) 5
08/13/2019 Regular In Violation(s) 5
08/02/2019 Complaint In Violation(s) 1
07/08/2019 Follow-up In Violation(s) 2
06/17/2019 Complaint In  
05/24/2019 Complaint Out Violation(s) 20
04/16/2019 Complaint In Violation(s) 1
04/10/2019 Follow-up In Violation(s) 5

The inspector made the following comments in support of the violations found during the inspection:

  • Metal food trays for the meat department were stored in two areas where there was building contruction taking place which created dust which is a potential source of contamination
  • Food facility does not have available sanitizer test strips or test kit to determine appropriate sanitizer concentration
  • The inside of a food processor and two cutting boards in the produce department, each food contact surfaces, was observed to have food residue and was not clean to sight and touch. The food processor was cleaned and the cutting boards were discarded.
  • The interior of an ice machine, a food contact surface, was observed to have black residue and was not clean to sight and touch.
  • Extra stock of single-use meat trays are stored in an area where they are exposed to dust from construction. This area had been noted on previous inspections and had improved on previous inspections.
  • Peeling paint observed on the ceiling of the meat cutting room.
  • The managers of this facility permitted essential basic food safety equipment to be removed from the meat cutting department and have not re-installed it; specifically the handwashing sink and the system for cleaning and sanitizing meat cutting equipment and the meat cutting area.
  • The Person in Charge did not demonstrate adequate knowledge of the PA Food Code as evidenced by incorrect responses to food safety questions; specifically when asked the correct process for cleaning and sanitizing equipment, the manager gave an incorrect response.
  • The Person in Charge does not have adequate knowledge of food safety in this food facility as evidenced by this non-compliant inspection.
  • Observed clean food equipment and/or utensils in stored wet in the third compartment of the 3-compartment sink in a manner that does not allow for draining and/or air drying (wet nesting*). Manager stated that a drying and storage area is to be constructed in the future.
  • Observed clean food equipment and/or utensils in hot food prep area, stored uncovered or not inverted.
  • Managers reported that the sink for cleaning fish/seafood is being utilized for handwashing in the meat department, but soap was not available at this sink and no sign reminding employees to wash hands is posted.
  • Food facility does not maintain and implement written procedures and plans as required in the PA Food Code and as this facility stated they would do in a written reply to a Food Safety Warning letter. The warning letter was issued on 5/30/2019; the written reply was dated 6/05/2019. * • In the written reply the managers stated that they would routinely check the order from top to bottom of meat displays. Meat was in the wrong order on 7/08/2020. * • In the written reply the managers stated that “they set in place a schedule for routinely checking the temperature of hot food every two hours. “ On 7/08/2020, empanadas were held at 105°F and 114°F. There is no evidence that the facility is checking hot food temperatures and on 7/08/2020, the facility did not have a thermometer for checking the internal temperature of food readily available in the hot food department. * • In the written reply the managers stated that “they have set up schedules in every department so that temperatures are routinely checked.” There is no evidence that the facility is routinely checking temperatures in any department within the facility.
  • Food Employee observed changing tasks, (specifically sweeping the floor and eating food) that may have contaminated hands without a proper handwash in-between.
  • Food Employee observed donning single use gloves without a prior hand wash.
  • Food employees were observed doing multiple tasks without changing gloves and two employees were wearing gloves that had deteriorated and had holes in the gloves.
  • Empanadas were held at 105°F and 114°F. in one hot food display case, rather than 135°F or above as required. Other hot foods were above 135°F. Empanadas were discarded.*
  • Meat packages dated 6/30/20 and milk dated 7/02/20 and 6/22/20 was being held in the refrigeration units beneath the deli and hot food prep areas.
  • Single-service deli container is being used a scoop in dry rice rather than a durable scoop with a handle.
  • Cardboard and cardboard covered with aluminum foil is being used on shelves for food items and food equipment. Cardboard is not a durable, cleanable surface.
  • Handwashing sink in the hot food prep area was filled with stainless steel scrubbing pads and two types of detergent and not available for use by employees in the department.
  • Ground meats were stored above whole cuts of meat and ground poultry was stored above ground beef and ground pork. Managers corrected.
  • Scoop being stored in the ice machine with handle buried beneath the ice.
  • The system for cleaning and sanitizing the meat cutting equipment and the meat cutting department was removed during a remodeling project and not reinstalled.
  • Non-food contact surfaces, specifically the interior of a reach-in refrigerator in the hot food prep area, not cleaned at a frequency to preclude accumulation of dirt and soil.
  • Observed no chemical sanitizer available at the 3-compartment sink in the deli/bakery/hot food prep area.
  • The food facility does not have a handwash sink located in the meat department food prep area or warewashing area.


*Wet nesting refers to the practice of placing two recently-washed items together in a nested fashion, preventing proper airflow. In a moist, dark, low-air environment, unseen bacteria grows unchecked, and suddenly that mixing bowl is a biological incident waiting to happen. Even at high temperatures, the food or ingredients you place on that wet-nested kitchen equipment can act as an accidental insulator, or even as fuel for further bacterial growth. 

*The temperature danger zone is food temperatures between 41 and 135 degrees Fahrenheit and the most rapid bacteria growth occurs between 70 and 125 degrees Fahrenheit. The longer food sits in this temperature range, the greater the risk that bacteria will begin to grow on food. These violations are considered, "Food Borne Illness Risk Factor" violations.