Charcoal’s Bar and Grill fails inspection-pink and black slime- 10 violations

Charcoal’s Bar and Grill fails inspection-pink and black slime- 10 violations

Lancaster, PA


Retail Food Inspection Report January 25, 2019

Charcoal’s Bar and Grill

701 Olde Hickory RD, Lancaster, PA 17601


Charcoals Bar and Grill improved  their retail food inspection this year over 2018: 10 violations versus 22 following an inspection last January.  The January 2018 report  had fewer violations  30  found on July 12, 2017.

The Lancaster eatery failed to meet the requirements of Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and was found, “out of compliance”  for the third straight year.

Charcoal’s Bar and Grill has an average rating on Yelp 2.5 out of 5 stars while reviewers on Google rate the restaurant with 3.9 of 5 stars. People on their Facebook page rated the bar at 3.9 of 5 stars. 

The Pennsylvania Chronicle reached out to Charcoals Bar and Grill for comment which first offered this statement:

This is surely NOT where we want to be with our health inspections. Over the past month or so, ownership has been transferred and we are transitioning as quickly as possible with a new management Team and specific staffing. Our ultimate goal is to pass each and every inspection without incident. We know that we have a long way to go. We WILL continue to strive toward that end and WILL reach our goal. We are doing whatever is necessary to be compliant now and into the future for the good of our customers. 

Challenged on further, through Facebook messages, Charcoals Bar and Grill responded:

Prior to a month or so ago, Charcoals had dual owners (50/50). One of the owners has since bought the other co-owner’s 50%.

Department of Agriculture records show John Katras to be the listed owner of the restaurant. Katras is believed to own the Alley Kat restaurant, also in Lancaster. The Alley Kat  failed it’s most recent inspection and was cited for 4 violations in October 2018. Here is just one of the comments from the inspector:

Bar area soda holster, a food contact surface, was observed to have a slimy buildup and was not clean to sight and touch, back door located in the food prep area of the food facility has a gap and does not protect against the entry of insects, rodents, and other animals

Only a couple weeks earlier, a third restaurant owned by Katras was also found out of compliance. Mosby’s Pub picked up a total of eight violations also in October 2018 visit with the inspector observing, among other comments:

Food Employee observed donning single use gloves after scrolling through personal cell phone without a prior hand wash. Employee had to be prompted by inspector to wash hands first, employee then proceeded to wash hands in the food preparation sink which is not the correct sink for hand washing. New violation.

Further investigation, though, uncovered the restaurant’s name doesn’t appear to be registered with the Pennsylvania Department of State as a business either as a corporate entity or a sole proprietorship as would is required by law. 

The restaurant in Lancaster took heavy criticism from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture in the Retail Food Inspection conducted on January 25, 2019.

Here are the comments from the inspector’s report:

  • Food employees (consultant) observed preparing food, not wearing a beard cover
  • Smoked salmon and tuna salad, a refrigerated, ready to eat time temperature control for safety food in the small cooling unit and the walk-in cooler, was date-marked by the facility, but was beyond the 7 day use or sell by date and requires discarding
  • Observed a pink and black slime on the ice maker deflector plate
  • Observed a brown, slimy residue inside the scoop holder for the ice scoop
  • Old food residue observed on the can opener blade
  • The food facility does not have the original certificate for the certified food employee posted in public view
  • Working containers being stored beneath the dump sink, used for storing cleaners taken from bulk supplies, were not marked with the common name of the chemical
  • The Person in Charge does not have adequate knowledge of food safety in this food facility as evidenced by this non-compliant inspection
  • The Person in Charge has failed to notify customers by posting in public view a poster stating the inspection report is available upon request
  • Hood system is not adequate to remove heat and/or grease, as evidenced by condensate and/or grease collecting on the fire suppression fixtures
  • Observed grime on the inside of the spray wand
  • Old food splatter observed in the upper interior of the microwave
  • Oil residue observed inside both fryer cabinets



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About The Author

Don Shaw

Don Shaw journalist covering local news for The Pennsylvania Chronicle (717) 461-2107