Posted by on October 16, 2019 7:42 pm

Categories: Coal Region Consumer

Another restaurant at the Coal Creek Commerce Center in Saint Clair failed a recent state food safety inspection.

According to information from the state’s Bureau of Food Safety and Laboratory Services, the Uma Hibachi Steakhouse in Saint Clair failed an inspection filed Oct. 8.

Also in the last couple weeks, state food safety inspectors handed out a failing grade to Vito’s Coal Fired Pizza. Vito’s is essentially right next door to Uma at the Coal Creek shopping center in Saint Clair.

Uma Hibachi Steakhouse Fails Food Safety Inspection

uma hibachi saint clair pa

(Coal Region Canary photo)

Unlike the failed inspection at Vito’s, the report on Uma contains one very troubling word: rodent.

Among the 9 violations at Uma included in the inspector’s report, the last one is definitely the most troubling. According to the inspection report, investigators found “approximately 12-15 rodent-like droppings located inside small outside dry storage shed.” The report also noted “one bag of chia seeds to have (the) presence of gnaw-like marks.”

chia seeds sushi

(Image licensed by The Canary from Those little black things are chia seeds, a popular ingredient in specialty sushi rolls.

Staff at Uma threw out the questionable bag of chia seeds when it was noted by inspectors.

And several other violations were cleaned up on the spot, the report notes.

Food Safety Violations at Uma Hibachi Steakhouse, Saint Clair – Oct. 2019

Here are some of the violations that Uma staff corrected in front of inspectors:

  • Salads stored without covering
  • Raw animal foods stored above ready-to-eat foods
  • Soiled cotton cloths used to cover onions and pre-cooked rice
  • Hand washing sink with “old food splash”
  • Dirty in-use fly stripes throughout the main food prep area

Using dirty cloths to cover up onions and cooked rice is pretty gross. And the fly strips dangling above the food prep area is also pretty nasty.

There are some other notes on this inspection report that couldn’t be corrected right away by Uma staff.

A screen door on the back of the restaurant wasn’t installed properly. Also, inspectors found “grease and/or old food debris located on sides of Bain Marie cooling unit and grill line equipment” and “old food litter/grease accumulations located on floors below main grill line equipment”. Inspectors also believe no one at Uma is familiar with the PA Food Code.

Like Vito’s, Uma has a chance to correct these problems, especially the presence of “rodent” like activity. The restaurant will undergo a follow-up inspection in the coming days or weeks to get back into compliance with the food code.

Vito’s, by the way, was cleared of its previous compliance infractions.

Uma’s Previous Violations

This isn’t the first time Uma fell on the wrong side of state food safety inspection reports. In fact, the restaurant failed safety inspections in 2018 and 2017, too.

And just like was seen in the case of Vito’s repeat violations, it’s not like these restaurants didn’t know the inspections were imminent. Health inspectors show up nearly the same time every year.

In previous years, the most troubling violations at Uma included food storage temperature issues. There are no reports of anything rodent-like on previous inspections but the restaurant did fail each inspection in the previous two years. They did correct them and get passing grades on follow-up visits.

Customers Unphased?

Uma is one of several sushi and hibachi restaurants in Schuylkill County. And it can be a fun dinner experience. Even though reports of Uma’s violations have been widely circulated already online, it doesn’t seem to phase customers. When The Canary drove by the Coal Creek center recently, the place — along with Vito’s — looked busy.

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