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Critical violations found at 5 restaurants, fast-food spots in South Mississippi

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Salmonella causes about 1.2 million illnesses and 450 deaths in the U.S. every year, according to the CDC. The bacteria is typically transmitted through contaminated food, but some simple preventative measures can keep you from getting sick.

Five South Mississippi restaurants, including fast-food spots and delis, have been cited for critical violations from Sept. 21-26 by the Mississippi State Department of Health.

The critical violations:

Firehouse Subs, 296 Beauvoir Road, Suite 200, Biloxi: Sept. 24, not in compliance with food separated and protected, and adequate hand washing facilities supplied/accessible. The hand washing station problem was a repeat violation from two inspections in March, including one inspection with a critical violation. Firehouse Subs has received mostly A scores since February 2014.

Petra Cafe, 1680 Pass Road, Biloxi: Sept. 24, not in compliance with adequate hand washing facilities supplied/accessible; toxic substance properly identified/stored/used; food separated and protected; proper cold temperatures. The latter three were repeat violations from an inspection in January. Petra Cafe has received a total of two Cs, two Bs and an A since January 2017.

Dawg Inc., DBA Pure Country, 10166 Lorraine Road, Gulfport: Sept. 24, not in compliance with having a certified manager. Received an A in a re-inspection Sept. 25. Dawg has received 15 As and one B since October 2012.

La Nortena, 224 A, Porter Avenue, Biloxi: Sept. 26, not in compliance with proper cold holding temperatures and last inspection report posted. Both were corrected during the inspection. The failure to post the report was a repeat violation from an inspection in January. La Nortena has mostly Bs and six Cs since January 2014.

Waffle House #1813, 16 West Frontage Road, Wiggins: Sept. 26, not in compliance with toxic substance properly identified/stored/used and last permit inspection posted. The toxic substance issue was corrected on site. Failure to post the most recent inspection report was a repeat violation from March 28. The Waffle House has received mostly As and Bs since July 13, 2010.

A total of 99 venues were listed as inspected last week in District XI — Harrison, Hancock, Jackson, Pearl River, Stone and George counties. Reports were not showing online Thursday for 10 of the food service providers, including the Jackson County and Pearl River County jails,

Environmentalists give food providers an A if they meet all state regulations and a B if most types of violations found are corrected during the inspection. They give a C to businesses with one or more critical violations, which must be corrected within 10 days.

Restaurants and other food service providers are required to post their latest inspection reports where the public can see them.

To file a complaint about a specific place, email food@msdh.ms.gov or contact your county health department.

You can check records of any food venue online at msdh.ms.gov.

Violations of food code regulations can cause public health issues. For instance, improper cooking and holding temperatures, not keeping foods separated and employee health and hygiene can contribute to food-borne illnesses such as Salmonella or Norovirus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Robin Fitzgerald, 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews
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