Restaurant sanitation queried

Some restaurants in the Cayman Islands may be cutting corners when it comes to sanitation.

Problems uncovered during enquiries of the situation included doors that are too high off the floor, allowing rodents to enter the premises and exposure of kitchens to dust, as well as air borne infections.

One employee at a well known restaurant said she had seen a snake come into the kitchen on at least one occasion.

There is a clearance of about an inch under the front door of the restaurant in question.

Tania Johnson of the Department of Environmental Health said the department conducted inspections of sites twice a year.

She said businesses were graded on a scale of one through four and added that those who received lower scores were visited at a higher frequency.

Some of the categories graded include staff training, food storage, washroom cleanliness, upkeep of preparation areas, equipment sanitation, waste disposal and ventilation.

Time is given for upgrades after citations are made, though the DOEH does not have the jurisdiction to terminate the license of a particular restaurant.

Instead, restaurateurs must pass a compulsory inspection before a trade and business license is granted.

Ms. Johnson said this is one way in which the Department can enforce its standards.

She added that restaurants that do not adhere to a high quality of sanitation usually do not do well and tend to fold.