An investigative report by a television station serving the Kansas City area found that private clubs and employees-only break rooms are very much on inspectors’ radar, and that 18 clubs in the region had been hit with violations in 2019 not unlike those found at much less-exclusive establishments.
Food inspections extend far beyond public restaurants, with even private clubs and employees-only break rooms seen as fair game by authorities, according to an investigative report by KCTV, the CBS affiliate in the Kansas City, Mo./Kan. area. KCTV’s research into recent food-inspection violations for establishments in the region found that country clubs in the area had been hit with violations not unlike those found at much less-exclusive establishments.
“Anywhere that food is sold or made in Kansas, we are inspecting,” Steve Moris, the program manager for the Food Safety and Lodging Program with the Kansas Department of Agriculture, confirmed to KCTV.
In Kansas, the state handles inspections, KCTV reported, while in Missouri, they are handled by individual city or county health departments. But typically all of the inspecting authorites have codes that are based on the FDA Food Model Code (https://www.fda.gov/food/retail-food-protection/fda-food-code).
“I would say every food establishment has the potential for violations,” Carolyn White, the program manager for the Kansas City (Mo.) Health Department’s Environmental Health Program, told KCTV.
For its investigative report, KCTV searched the key words “country club” and “golf club” for selected counties in Kansas and found 18 locations that had been cited for violations in 2019, including these specific issues:
- “Pink buildup on the catch plate of the ice machine”
- “Damaged floor tiling” and “missing ceiling tiles”
- “Raw quail eggs in direct contact with ready-to-eat compound butters”
- “Mouse droppings”
- “Dead bugs”
- “Excessive flies”
And food inspectors on both sides of the state line cautioned against judging how well an establishment complies solely by the mere number of violations it has had (or hasn’t had), KCTV reported.
“The major [issues] we are most concerned about [are] hand washing, bare-hand contact and storage of food,” said Moris.
Added White: “I think what we want to look at is that ability to correct on site when our staff are in our restaurant. Our goal is education.”
Some of the private clubs that KCTV looked into had few to no violations, and most places had fixed all or nearly all of what they had been cited for when re-inspected, the station reported.
Any location or venue that sells or serves food that has been refrigerated or frozen—including company break rooms, food trucks, and fairs and festivals—is subject to inspection, KCTV reported.