ALBANY — The state issued its third round of enhanced food safety inspection ratings last week and gave most food retailers an A grade.
Hundreds received B grades, though, indicating critical deficiencies were found but were corrected on the spot, and hundreds more received C grades for critical deficiencies that were not or could not be corrected at the time of the inspection.
The state Department of Agriculture and Markets announced the new system and put it into use in January, with a requirement that stores prominently post their ratings where customers will see them. The department said the grades help customers better understand the sanitary conditions in the stores.
The letter rating system was designed with the input of the food industry.
Agriculture and Markets’ Division of Food Safety and Inspection inspects the state’s food retailers at least once a year, looking for critical or general deficiencies.
Critical deficiencies are those that could lead to foodborne illnesses, such as problems with food condition, cooking and storage temperatures, or employees’ sanitary practices. Even one critical deficiency precludes an A rating, under the new rules.
General deficiencies are those that are not health threats but could negatively affect operation of the store, such as its design, maintenance and cleanliness. Stores can have general deficiencies and still earn A ratings.
Food Safety and Inspection is the largest division of Agriculture and Markets, with about 140 full-time employees covering every county in the state.
In the third quarter of 2018, the department conducted 7,521 inspections of the roughly 29,000 retail food establishments statewide.
In the greater Capital Region, four establishments were given B grades, and 32 got C grades. The businesses ranged from small convenience stores to large supermarkets to a wholesale distribution center.
The results in the third quarter were a bit worse than in the second quarter, when 8,033 inspections were performed statewide, yielding five B’s and 24 C’s in the Capital Region. In both quarters, the poor ratings were handed mainly to small operations. Five supermarkets or other large facilities were dinged in the second quarter and four in the third quarter.
The Department of Agriculture and Markets said food retail establishments with B or C grades are typically re-inspected sooner than they otherwise would be, and if the deficiency is not corrected upon re-inspection, or if a new deficiency is identified, the retailer could face a fine. Many, however, passed re-inspection with an A.
The department regularly updates inspection results online at data.ny.gov.
The following establishments in the greater Capital Region received B grades for critical deficiencies that were corrected on the spot:
- AFC Sushi @ Price Chopper, 1 Kendall Way, Ballston Spa (Sept. 6)
- Saratoga 5 Points Market & Deli, 42 Park Place, Saratoga (Aug. 2)
- Stewart’s Shop #333, 87 West Ave., Saratoga (Sept. 21)
- Xtra Mart Moreau #1478, 1403 Saratoga Road, Fort Edward (Aug. 7)
The following establishments received C grades for critical deficiencies that were not corrected on the spot:
- 1667 General Store, 1667 Western Ave., Guilderland (Sept. 19)
- Alibaba Halal Meat & Grocery, 21 Central Ave., Albany (Sept. 27)
- Candy Kraft, 2575 Western Ave., Guilderland (Sept. 7)
- Capital View Deli, 1100 Broadway, Rensselaer (July 2, Sept. 7)
- Country Farm, 198 S. Main St., Gloversville (Sept. 26)
- Cumberland Farms #1575, 1075 Route 196, Hudson Falls (Aug. 7)
- The Deli On Broadway, 904 Broadway, Rensselaer (Aug. 14)
- Dollar Tree #1008, 15 Park Ave., Clifton Park (Sept. 12)
- Elder Market, 1329 State St., Schenectady (Sept. 28)
- Fastrac Market #264, 3707 Route 30, Amsterdam (Sept. 26)
- Fin, Your Fishmonger, 2050 Western Ave., Guilderland (July 5)
- Jan Smokes & Deli, 142 W. Fulton St., Gloversville (Aug. 3)
- Lex Deli, 46 Lexington Ave., Albany (Aug. 24)
- Medina Halal Market, 286 Central Ave., Albany (Sept. 19)
- New Asian Food Market, 91 Colvin Ave., Albany (Aug. 17)
- Pick Of The Pasture Farm, 280 Pine Valley Road, Hoosick Falls (July 12)
- Pine Hills Market, 504 Hudson Ave., Albany (Sept. 12)
- Price Chopper #39, 3045 Route 50, Saratoga (July 25)
- Prince Deli & Grocery, 20 N. Manning Blvd., Albany (July 17)
- Reddy’s Deli & Grocery, 170 Main St., Guilderland Center (July 5)
- Sham Candy & Grocery, 123 Central Ave., Albany (July 30)
- Sheikh Deli & Grocery, 661 Second Ave., Troy (Sept. 28)
- Stewart’s Shop #201, 2458 Second Ave., Watervliet (July 9)
- Stewart’s Shop, #231 875 New Scotland Ave., Albany (Aug. 15)
- Stewart’s Shop #268, 801 Route 67, Ballston Spa (Sept. 12)
- Stewart’s Shop #291, 470 Delaware Ave., Albany (Aug. 6)
- Stewart’s Shop #293, 215 Troy-Schenectady Road, Latham (Aug. 15)
- Stillwater Mobil, 667 Hudson Ave., Stillwater (Sept. 5)
- Target #1271 3031 Route 50 Saratoga (Aug. 6)
- Target Corp. Northeast Regional Distribution Center, 129 North Road, Gansevoort (Aug. 20)
- Whitey’s Meat Deli & Beverage, 204 N. Perry St., Johnstown (July 18)
- Z Deli Mart, 935 State St., Schenectady (Aug. 30)