Restaurant inspection: Covington Applebee’s fails

Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar in Covington failed a recent routine inspection because of employee mistakes, including improper hand-washing.

The Newton County health inspector said Applebee’s food safety manager was not upholding responsibilities or training employees on food safety practices.

One food prep employee was observed handling raw chicken, then changing gloves to handle a bag of ready-to-eat cheese without first washing hands.

Another employee did wash hands, but didn’t thoroughly rinse off the soap.

Points were also taken off because the bartender was preparing drinks while wearing several unapproved rings and a bracelett. Food handlers may wear a plain wedding band only when prepping food items.

An employee beverage in an unapproved container was stored near the fryers in the main kitchen.

Applebee’s, 5176 Highway 278, Covington, scored 64/U, dropping from previous scores of 85/B and 82/B.

Among other code violations, unwashed strawberries and mushrooms were stored above ready-to-eat bags of cilantro in a cooler. Also, raw eggs were stored behind ready-to-eat flour tortillas in a chest cooler underneath the grill.

Several food containers were being stacked wet. And three buckets of sanitizing solution were too weak.

Applebee’s will be re-inspected.

In other news: Recently reviewed Murrell's Café, 700 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Atlanta, scored 95/A on a follow-up inspection.