WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Ever wonder what's lurking inside those popular buffet? How long has the food been there and is it safe? We took our own thermometer and found problems that experts say could make you sick.
On Randolph Road at Tysons Buffett in Rockville, customers literally come to by the bus-load. But when inspectors came they ordered customers out and closed the buffet.
Inspectors said the pork, mussels, chicken, duck, mussel and fish were as low as 96 degrees, which is well below the safe and required 140 degrees. Those low temperatures that could make you sick.
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"It was not entirely safe. A portion of the pan was out of temperature obviously, so we should do a better job of stirring the mussels up. And taking the temperature," said restaurant manager Sam Chan.
When we came by, we found the same problem with some mussels. We took the temperature and they came in at 113 degrees.
The staff took it away and properly brought it back it to the proper temperature.
Most of the items we tested showed proper temperatures.
Besides those improvements, they plan other measures at Tysons Buffet to keep food safe, including installing new equipment in the next week or so.
At Epiphany Beef and Subs on Georgia Avenue Northwest, they're known for great barbeque, but inspectors say they know them for operating with no hot water, no food safety manager, and no license. Epiphany says their trained food worker forgot to bring his certificate that day and blames the license issue on a paperwork mix-up at the city.
In Silver Spring, Nectar Lounge and Grill is known for live music, hot sauce and African food. Inspectors say when they walked in, they were operating without hot water and sewage was overflowing in the kitchen and the bar.
In Arlington, on North Taft, inspectors closed Sun Deli and Market, siting leaking drain pipes, a contamination control violation, and no trained/certified food safety manager. When we asked for the certified food manager, we got this answer: "He's not here right now."
Operating without someone trained to oversee safe food handling is the most common violation. That's why inspectors closed the New Hampshire Avenue 7-Eleven in Silver Spring. It was also closed for mold in the deli sink and a dirty toilet that inspectors say was clogged.
While we were there, workers called the required food safety manager to the store. We said to the manager, "When we came in, you weren't here, and they couldn't reach you by phone."
The manager replied, "I don't have a cell phone."
Code requires each establishment to be under immediate supervision of a worker who is certified to safely supervise food handling.
All the establishments had passed reinspections prior to our visits and are back in business.
Click here for contact information to complain about health hazards to your local health department:http://www.wusa9.com/news/nation-world/article/239623/381/Contact-Health-Depts-About-Restaurant--Food-Risks