FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Mastaro Sushi in Fort St. John has reopened after it was forced to close by Northern Health earlier this week when inspectors found numerous critical food safety violations.
According to Northern Health’s website, Environmental Health Officers found six instances of critical violations and six other non-critical violations during an inspection conducted on Monday, April 23rd, giving the restaurant a high hazard rating. The inspection was conducted after Northern Health received a complaint.
Among the critical violations, inspectors found that meat was being stored above raw food, peeled cucumber was stored in an open container under a sink at room temperature, cold food was stored in a non-working cooler, and the restaurant’s dishwasher was found to not be dispensing chlorine or sanitizer. In addition, officers found a repeat violation of mould growth and grime build-up inside the restaurant’s walk-in cooler.
Other non-ciritcal violations included that no food handlers who were Food Safe certified were available at the time of the inspection, while other general uncleanliness was found.
“Grime, dirt, grease build up around the dishwasher. Mould, grime build up around sinks. Unclean coolers, no light in the back area behind the women’s washroom. All floor very sticky leading to believe that regular cleaning and maintenance is not happening at this facility. Most (if not all) are repeat infractions. This facility has historically been found to be in violations of sanitary standards and challenged with maintaining and sustaining sanitary conditions,” reads the inspection report.
Officers conducted a follow-up inspection on Tuesday, when only three critical violations were found by officers, who allowed the restaurant to reopen provided corrective action was taken the next day. During Tuesday’s inspection, Northern Health found that the dishwasher was still not dispensing sanitizer, and that there was improper cleaning and sanitizing of equipment and utensils to a critical degree. “A lot of regular sanitation improvement must take place in this facility. Cleaning containers, bins, mats, between equipment, behind counters, on sushi work station etc,” reads the report.
Mastaro Sushi’s management declined to comment when asked about the inspection reports.
This is actually the second time the restaurant has been given a high health hazard rating within the last year. On June 19th, 2017 six critical violations were reported by officials, including mould build-up, blood and dirty liquid from fish and seafood on the floor, and an offensive odour in the walk-in cooler; as well as staff washing hands in a sink used for food preparation. The restaurant was given a moderate hazard rating on two follow-up inspections on July 5th and January 22nd, before getting a low hazard rating during its most recent inspection on January 31st.
The restaurant is one of three in Fort St. John that received a moderate rating in their most recent health inspections, along with Original Joes on March 20th and Patch Java at the North Peace Arena on March 30th.
All food inspection reports conducted by Northern Health can be found here: https://www.healthspace.ca/clients/nha/NHA_Website.nsf