Young and Hungry

Breadline Busted on 19 Health Code Violations, Ten of Them Critical

The opening page of the Health inspector's report on Breadline.

The big news today has been the temporary closure of Breadline, the once esteemed bread and sandwich shop founded by Mark Furstenberg in 1997 but sold to the international company, Groupe Le Duff,  in 2005.

The Washingtonian was first out of the gate with its late-morning Tweet, which reported that Breadline was closed. "For good," it noted. The Washington Business Journal quickly followed with a report that said Breadline was merely closed for repairs, and then Washington Post published a more substantial report, saying that Breadline was "temporarily closed for health code violations," but was working with the District to resolve them.

This afternoon, however, Y&H got a hold of a copy of the Food Establishment Inspection Report, filed on June 18, which lists 19 separate violations at Breadline. Ten of them, according to inspector Dawn McFadden, are critical. McFadden determined the risk at Breadline was "high" based on her inspections.

Among the violations that McFadden recorded:

  • License requirement: Breadline was operating with a suspended restaurant license, which is issued by the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs after an establishment passes a health inspection. McFadden noted that Breadline's license expired on Dec. 31, 2008.

  • Preventing contamination from premises food storage: The inspector "observed containers...containing rising dough stored on the walk-in cooler floor." Health codes mandate that food must be stored at least six inches above the floor, she noted.
  • Preventing contamination by consumers — food display: McFadden observed bread stored on racks behind the service line, toasted bread slices stored on a tray at the deli station, salads not stored behind the sneeze guard, among other things. "Above items are exposed to contamination by consumers," she wrote.
  • Cleaning — food/non-food contact surfaces: The inspector found a dirty meat slicer ("old food particles present") and a dirty potato chopper (ditto) as well as "debris throughout prep tables and prep table shelving."
  • Controlling pests McFadden observed "excessive live fruit fly activity throughout the establishment." Aside from recommending an exterminator, McFadden advised that Breadline "eliminate harborage conditions such as dirty mops stored in stagnate [sic] water, cleaning floor drains of slime and build-up present throughout and by routinely inspecting food shipments."
  • Cooling On at least three separate checks, McFadden found that the following foods were improperly cooled. Chicken, chick pea spread, tuna salad, curry chicken salad, sliced turkey, ground beef, and cole slaw were all above the required 41° Fahrenheit threshold.
  • Refrigeration McFadden observed a "display deli case maintaining a temperature of 82° F." She recommended removing sandwiches from the unit until it is repaired.
  • Physical facilities The inspector noted that Breadline needs to clean "the wall in the warewash area, above the mop sink and where...mold [is] present." She also recommended that Breadline provide "a drop ceiling in the food pantry area and repair the ceiling throughout and provide ceiling tiles." Finally, she said the shop needs to clean the "stove, oven, entire hood system, excessive grease build-up present. Remove the ice build up present on the door of the walk-in freezer in order to properly close the door. Clean the walls throughout of excessive dirt present."
  • Handsink accessibility McFadden observed that a bread rack or other equipment blocked access to hand sinks. "Handsinks," she noted, "must be accessible at all times for proper handwashing."

The full inspection report is listed below.

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