pe-mi-montague-bakery

Montague Bakery has corrected the health violations since receiving the warning. (Google Street View)

A bakery in eastern P.E.I. was cited in October for 11 health violations, the most since the province began making the information public in 2006.

The violations were found at the Montague Bakery. They included dirty food-preparation surfaces, dirty racks and trays in refrigerators and storage rooms, employees wearing dirty clothing and inadequate storage of hot, perishable food.

The warning issued on Oct. 11 was a follow-up inspection, and the bakery was told to clean up the problems by Oct. 13.

Inspection frequency increased

The Health Department has come up with a new system for inspecting eating establishments, increasing the frequency of inspection for some.

Currently establishments are inspected once a year. Under the new regime, establishments that get repeated warnings or handle high-risk foods such as meat, will be inspected two or three times a year.

"Obviously we like to see a minimum level of sanitation maintained in the premises," Joe Bradley, manager of environmental health for the province, told CBC News Wednesday.

"There's always the potential where there's unclean food contact surfaces, or if equipment that is being used to prepare and cook food is not clean, there's the potential for harmful, disease-causing bacteria to be present and to contaminate the food."

A further visit to the bakery found the list of problems had been fixed.

Owner Kent Myers told CBC News Thursday that staff are wearing hair nets, and dishes and surfaces are being cleaned properly.

"It's pretty clean. It's certainly an acceptable standard now," he said. "Really, I don't think they're big safety concerns.  It was more housekeeping concerns than actual contamination."

Myers said he normally does pay more attention to housekeeping, but this past summer, an oil spill on his property shifted his focus.

"I was focused more on trying to deal with the oil spill and keep the business alive ... I should've been allocating more time for day to day routine," Myers said.

But Bradley said it isn't the first time the bakery has been warned by inspectors.

Bradley said if the bakery receives any more warnings, the province's chief health officer will be notified and the bakery's license could be revoked.