Health Department Inspections of Silver Diner Expose Hundreds of Food Safety Violations Says UNITE HERE

Restaurant chain has been cited for rodents, roaches and dozens of critical food safety violations

Business Wire


An investigation of health department reports sheds new light on Silver Diner, a popular restaurant chain with 15 locations in the mid-Atlantic region. The restaurants have attempted to cultivate an image of healthy food and cleanliness, promising to provide ‘sparkling clean’ locations and to nurture health in the community. Health Department inspection reports project a different image of the company. A company-wide analysis of Silver Diner’s 15 locations reveals 260 food safety violations, including 78 critical violations, since January 1, 2012. Silver Diner’s violations include the presence of cockroaches, evidence of rodents and potentially hazardous food stored at improper temperatures.

“Customers should be aware of Silver Diner’s food safety record,” said Ian Mikusko, who analyzed the food inspection reports for UNITE HERE. “The company’s ‘healthy’ and ‘clean’ brand do not mesh with the violations in its health department reports.”

The health hazard presented by cockroaches resulted in a temporary health department shutdown of the McLean Silver Diner on two separate occasions. In the inspection that precipitated the most recent closure in September 2012, inspectors found nymphs and adult cockroaches “on a speed rack, at the front wall adjacent to the waffle machines, by the handsinks, on a knife on a prep table, [and] on the walls by the entrance to the kitchen.” Another Silver Diner location, the Falls Church, Virginia restaurant, was also temporarily closed by the health department for “unsanitary conditions” in 2009.

Food safety issues were not confined to these two locations. Three separate Silver Diner locations have had evidence of mice and all fifteen Silver Diner restaurants have been cited for multiple food safety violations since the beginning of 2012. An issue that has affected nearly all of the Silver Diner locations — 14 of 15 have been cited during the period of the study — is foods held at improper temperatures. Food temperature violations are identified by the FDA as one of five risk factors for foodborne illness.

UNITE HERE has and will continue to educate Silver Diner’s customers on the company’s food safety record. Customers who are interested in the details of a Silver Diner restaurant inspection report or would like to file a food safety complaint should contact their local health department.

Ian Mikusko, 212-332-9330


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