Who are you?
Aqua, a fine-dining boutique restaurant in Malibu, California, is frequented by celebrities and other wealthy patrons who relish its exotic menu and extraordinary wine list. It is the flagship restaurant in Premier Dining Group’s chain of high-end eateries located throughout Southern California. As manager of this fine establishment, you work very hard to maintain the exceptionally high standards for which the restaurant is famous.
What is the scenario? In addition to serving high-quality food and beverages, your responsibilities as restaurant manager include ensuring compliance with Los Angeles County’s strict “restaurant grading” ordinance. This ordinance enforces mandatory inspection of retail food facilities, and inspected facilities receive letter grades according to their inspection scores. Letter grades are required to be prominently posted at all establishments selling food, and upon request, all establishments are required to provide a copy of the inspection to any customer. Aqua has consistently maintained its “A” rating because of your vigilance, and this has not gone unnoticed by your superiors, who hold you in very high regard. You were surprised when you picked up the phone that morning and Creshema Thomas, the chief operations officer of Premier Dining Group, was on the other end. She normally called at the end of each month to get an update on sales and performance. There was, however, another reason for her call today. Located in Pasadena, Canoe, another restaurant in the group, had been experiencing some profitability challenges over the last two years, incurring particularly huge losses in the previous quarter. At the board meeting last week, the shareholders had unanimously voted to divest of this property. Exit Realty, a very successful commercial real estate company, had been hired to market the property to potential buyers. Prior to listing any property for sale, Exit Realty conducts a comprehensive evaluation of the property to ensure that it is well-positioned for a quick sale. As part of their evaluation procedure, Exit Realty requested that a preliminary compliance report be forwarded to its office as soon as possible. Ms. Thomas had some concerns. A new restaurant manager had been appointed at Canoe approximately one week ago, and he lacked familiarity with the LA County restaurant grading ordinance. She was nervous because a questionable inspection report would reflect poorly on the restaurant and possibly all other restaurants in the group. She requested that you conduct the preliminary inspection to determine whether Canoewas compliant with LA County’s food handling, storage, and preparation regulations. She indicated that Hiroaki Kim, the agent representing Exit Realty, was eager to receive the inspection report before the end of the week. The LA County restaurant grading ordinance stipulates the following with regard to food handling, storage, and preparation:
To avoid food contamination, frozen food may be prepared from a frozen state or it must be refrigerated at temperatures below 38 degrees F. For up to two hours, you may thaw frozen food under running water at a temperature of 70 degrees F. or below.
To avoid cross contamination, equipment used to prepare food must be cleaned and sanitized between uses and particular care must be exercised when handling a potentially harmful food such as raw poultry, beef, or fish. There is a “danger zone” temperature of 40–140 degrees F. within which food bacteria multiply rapidly and can thrive. The temperature of food should be kept out of this zone.
Safe food storage requires that all foods be wrapped and stored in a clean place. Each item in the walk-in refrigerator, freezer, and dry storage should be in a sealed container or package with a label identifying the contents and date on which they were received. All meats, seafood, vegetables, and dairy products must be refrigerated. The refrigerator temperature must be below 38 degrees F. Freezers should keep foods at below 0 degrees F, and items in dry storage should be kept between 50–70 degrees F. with a relative humidity of 50–60%. A working thermometer must be kept in each unit at all times so that problems may be identified at a glance.
To ensure proper hygiene of food preparation staff, it is essential that they wear safety hair nets, gloves, and clean uniforms.
When you arrive at Canoe at 9 a.m. the next day, the kitchen is abuzz with activity and food preparation is underway for the lunch service. The kitchen staff look wonderful in their bright, clean uniforms. You remove your coat because it feels a little warm in there, and you notice that the kitchen thermometer reads 73 degrees F. A large frozen turkey lies defrosting in a dish on the counter. The head chef explains that he is preparing a chicken casserole and a beef vegetable soup for the lunch special. You observe that his assistant is busy chopping the beef into tiny cubes. Once she gets done and using the same chopping instrument, she starts chopping the chicken into small pieces. You notice that she did not clean and sanitize the instrument before using it to chop the chicken. The chef and his assistants are all wearing gloves, but none of them appear to be wearing hair nets.
You inspect the refrigerator and freezer and notice that they are both spotlessly clean and well-organized. You also note that all the items in these units are stored in sealed containers. You are, however, unable to tell what is held in each container because none of them is labeled or dated. You look for thermometers to record the respective temperature in each unit and discover that neither unit has a thermometer in it. You then walk into the dry storage room that, apart from being extremely clean, has every item neatly stored and properly labeled. The reading on the thermometer is 66 degrees F., and the hygrometer, which measures relative humidity, reads 55%. You continue to observe the activities in the main kitchen for a few more hours; and as you get ready to leave at 1 p.m., you notice the turkey, now a little less frozen, still lying on the counter. You plan to complete and submit the report to Ms. Thomas before you return to Aquatonight. How do you complete this activity? Draft the body of an appropriate document that Ms. Thomas can forward to the agent at Exit Realty. Develop a response that includes examples and evidence to support your ideas, and which clearly communicates the required message to your audience. Organize your response in a clear and logical manner as appropriate for the genre of writing. Use well-structured sentences, audience-appropriate language, and correct conventions of standard American English.