A store manager is disputing results revealed from a state agency that said the Lynbrook grocer has failed three of its last five inspections.
According to Joe Rossi, the Hempstead Avenue store’s general
manager, those results are hardly what they seem.
“No matter what I do here, they’re going to find something,” Rossi told Patch.
The general manager isn't alone, as more than 5,300 stores across the state failed an inspection last year.
Aug. 10, 2011, the store failed due to a produce prep area food cutting
board, which had “extensive deep knife scores, containing imbedded/dark
matter, across food contact surfaces.” However, the equipment was
removed from service during the actual inspection.
On Oct. 18, 2012, the store failed again for the same reason. This time, the culprit was a produce plastic cutting board. Once again, the equipment was removed from service during the inspection.
Just three months later, the store failed its third inspection for multiple reasons, including the “extensive deep knife scores” that has doomed the store in the past.
The same inspection found “20-50 fresh and old appearing mouse droppings … present along perimeter floor wall junctures in second floor storage areas.”
But the inspections don’t tell the whole story.
Robert Gravani, a professor of food science at Cornell University, said inspectors might have caught the store on a bad day.
"Remember, an inspection is a snapshot, not a videotape," Gravani said.
To back up the claim, Cross Island passed its most recent inspection on May 2, 2013, and was found to have zero critical deficiencies.
Rossi said the 20-foot long cutting boards in question during the Jan. 24 failure were not cleaned after the inspection as he was told to do. Instead, Rossi went above and beyond and completely replaced the boards.
As for the lone incident involving the mice droppings, Rossi said that happens in a lot of establishments during the winter and sometimes there’s nothing that can be done.
“It’s inevitable. During the winter, they try to scurry into some place warm,” Rossi said.
“But that was completely taken care of,” he added. “… They don’t pass you if they see that again.”
Rossi said that his store isn’t the only aspect of the inspection process that has its faults. The general manager has questioned the process itself and said the inconsistency from inspector to inspector is nothing short of frustrating.
“One thing could be could with one [inspector] and it’s not with the other,” he said. “So it’s tough for us to appease somebody when they’re not even on the same page.”
A spokesman for the Department of Agriculture and Markets said Cross Island would be inspected again in six months.