By: Don Shaw email: (570) 543-2961

Employee eating ham while cutting, selling expired milk, Lancaster’s Rockvale Diner gets 17 violations after citizen complaint to state

Employee eating ham while cutting, selling expired milk, Lancaster’s Rockvale Diner gets 17 violations after citizen complaint to state

Lancaster, PA


Rockvale Diner in Lancaster

The Shops at Rockvale
35 S Willowdale DR
Lancaster, PA 17602
(717) 418-4753

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Food Safety and Laboratory Services conducted an unannounced retail food inspection on September 27, 2019.  This visit was triggered by a complaint from the public. As a result of that inspection, and due to the severity of the specific violations the Rockvale Diner was cited as being, “Out of Compliance” with Pennsylvania’s food safety regulations. During this inspection a total of 17 violations were found.

The restaurant failed an earlier inspection on April 17, 2019.  A follow-up inspection on October 7, 2019, determined the restaurant returned to, “In Compliance” status.

The inspector made the following comments in support of the violations found during the inspection:

  • The Person-in-Charge is not performing the duties as required by the PA Food Code to actively manage food safety in this non-compliant facility. Repeat from 2016,  2017 and 2019.
  • Food employee observed eating piece of ham while cutting it.
  • Facility offering milk by the glass with an expired “sell by date.”
  • Observed black moist residue on the ice machine deflector and on the interior surface of the ice bin.
  • Food facility does not have available chlorine sanitizer test strips or test kit to determine appropriate sanitizer concentration of the low temperature dish machine.
  • Observed wet wiping cloths in cooking area, not being stored in sanitizer solution.
  • White bulk food ingredient storage containers, in the kitchen area, are not labeled with the common name of the food.
  • Observed ice accumulation from the condensing unit in the walk-in freezer, on packages of meat. Discarded.
  • Chicken and hamburgers stored in the cold holding draws at 51 degrees F and not 41 degrees F as required. Discarded. Repeat from 2018
  • Observed grease and food residue accumulation under the fryer units.
  • The fan cover in the stack refrigerator/freezer unit has a white moist residue accumulation.
  • Observed an open beverage container on the shelf next to clean dishes.
  • Bucket of soup cooling on a table at room temperature-not an approved cooling method.
  • Several floor tiles are missing in the cooking line area.
  • Kitchen/prep area of the food facility is extremely dirty, dusty, and in need of cleaning.
  • Observed employee personal medication stored on the shelf above the food prep counter on the cooking line. Repeat
  • Commercially processed refrigerated, ready to eat, time/temperature control for safety food (deli meats), located in the walk-in cooler, and held more than 24 hours, is not being marked with the date it was opened. Repeat.
  • Temperature measuring device for ensuring proper temperature of equipment is not available in the under counter cooling unit.




If you have concerns about a restaurant, grocery store or any, “retail food establishment” you can contact the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture when you click or tap now

There are over 26,000 eating and drinking establishments in Pennsylvania, and thousands more convenience stores,  grocery stores and schools required to be inspected by the Department of Agriculture and, in some cases, local government entities at least once a year. Out of more than 2,000 inspections each month only about 150 are found to be, “Out of Compliance.”

Violations leading to the Out of Compliance designation are more critical violations. Establishments can score a number of lower level violations without achieving the Out of Compliance designation.



About The Author

Don Shaw

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