Public health inspectors visited more Coulee Region restaurants in 2017 but reported fewer violations than in the previous year.
There were a total of 2,148 infractions reported at 536 of establishments in Jackson, La Crosse, Monroe, Trempealeau and Vernon counties, according to records provided by state and county health departments.
That’s an average of about four violations, down from 4.6 violations found at 505 establishments in 2016.
There were 180 establishments with zero violations reported during the year, up from 156 last year.
Taste of Thai, which opened Sept. 4 in Holmen, had 34 total infractions, including 12 priority violations — the most of any establishment. Superior Family Restaurant in Tomah had the second most violations with 26, followed by La Crosse’s Super Buffet with 23.
The most common infractions involved storing foods at the wrong temperature followed by improper date marking and missing kits to test the concentration of dishwasher sanitizer.
The records, obtained through open records requests, were added to the La Crosse Tribune’s online restaurant inspection database, which includes all inspection reports since 2013 at restaurants in Jackson, La Crosse, Monroe, Trempealeau and Vernon counties.
The database, which is now optimized for mobile phones, can be searched by establishment, location or the nature of violation.
Restaurants are typically inspected once per year, though some with serious violations receive follow-up visits.
An inspection represents a snapshot in time, and violations are often corrected on the spot. Performance is best measured over multiple inspections.