The City of Independence Environmental Health Division conducts inspections anywhere food is handled, prepared and served to the public within city limits. Critical violations must be handled within 72 hours.

• Lucky Buffet, 2931 S. Noland Road – On Aug. 29, vegetables and herbs were obtained from an unapproved source; the herb garden out front must be removed. Twenty containers of cooked sweet and sour chicken were stored in cardboard labeled for raw chicken and raw chicken was stored above raw beef above raw fish in a cooler; both were discarded. Containers of food were stacked on top of and in other containers of food. A knife was stored in the wall behind an electrical outlet. Raw meat was stacked above vegetables. Mayonnaise that was sitting out was 54 degrees, raw beef at the Mongolian bar was 55 degrees, and at the salad bar, the cucumber salad was 52 degrees, cut melon 66 degrees and diced tomatoes 51 degrees; all were discarded. Produce in the walk-in was 44 degrees. The cook line cooler was 48 degrees, the prep cooler was 48 degrees and the Mongolian buffet was 55 degrees; all must be repaired before reopen. The cold buffet had out of temperature foods and ice was being used ice; all food must be put in metal pans and checked routinely. Inspectors found hard boiled eggs at 65 degrees, and eggs in the cooked rice in rice cooker were 43 degrees; all were discarded. Mice droppings were found under the sushi bar soda fountains wait station and wooden cabinet; a pest control company must come out and treat the premises. Flies and gnats were found throughout the kitchen.

• Lao Peking Chinese Restaurant, 1020 S. Sterling Ave. – On Aug. 30, raw chicken was stored on top of raw beef.

• Dragonfly Tea Zone, 18801 E. 39th St. – On Sept. 5, cut spinach, lettuce, lemons, celery and strawberries were found at 60 degrees in the back prep cooler. The hand sink in back was being used as prep sink.

• Snack Shop, 10507 E. 23rd St. S. – On Sept. 5, inspectors found no sanitizer on site for cleaning food contact surfaces.

• Burger King, 16901 E. U.S. 24 – On Sept. 10, no employee on site had a valid Independence Food Manager Card; five managers must either transfer their ServSafe to an Independence Food Manager card or take the class on Oct. 8. Date and time stickers were not being used correctly. The floor beneath the fryers had a heavy grease build-up and a large amount of food. Floors in the following areas were dirty: Behind the soft serve machine, walk-in cooler and walk-in freezer, under shelving in the kitchen, the soda rack and beneath the hot hold cabinet.

• Elite Cuisine, 20301 E. Missouri 78 – On Sept. 10, inspectors noted the kitchen staff washing their hands in the prep sink.

• Sonic Drive-In, 16909 E. U.S. 24 – On Sept. 12, an employee was working in with an inappropriate nose piercing. The can opener blade was not being kept clean. The inside of the fryer doors had a heavy grease build-up; re-inspection required. The facility had broken or missing base cove tile at the mop sink and the floor of the walk-in cooler and freezer was found with debris. An extremely heavy grease build-up was found behind the grease tank, and beneath the flat top grill and fryers, and the wall below the fry holding area was soiled; re-inspection required. The hand sink at the ice cream station was dirty and a chemical spray bottle was found on the prep table closest to 3-compartment sink.

– Jillayne Ritchie