Health inspector: Denny's restaurant in Ferndale is clean

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDJuly 11, 2013 

FERNDALE - The Denny's restaurant on Barrett Road is clean, according to a follow-up inspection from the Whatcom County Health Department.

"The follow-up inspection was satisfactory," said Tom Kunesh, supervisor for the department's Food and Living Environment Program. "We're pleased that the restaurant corrected the problems and we can move on to other things."

There were no cleaning problems anywhere in the restaurant during the Tuesday, July 9, inspection, Kunesh said.

The health department requires all areas of a restaurant to be cleaned and sanitized at least once every 24 hours, he added.

Denny's officials couldn't be reached for comment Wednesday.

The 24-hour eatery voluntarily closed it doors for cleaning Tuesday, July 2 - the same day that a health inspector went to the restaurant after receiving complaints from people who had seen videos on YouTube showing a dirty kitchen.

It reopened that evening after the initial inspection.

One of the videos, "Ferndale Dennys Tour," showed conditions that included unclean areas beneath trays holding cooked food; eggshells and other discarded food on the floor beneath equipment; and dirty drains underneath equipment.

While the images of the unclean parts of the kitchen showed code violations, they weren't areas - given that they were the floor or under equipment - that came into contact with food for customers, Kunesh has said.

Last week, health inspectors said they would return this week for a follow-up look.

This isn't the first time the restaurant has had such problems, according to the health department.

On July 24, 2012, after a health inspector again found "improper cleaning," the department issued a compliance agreement, which is used to correct repeated problems. There hadn't been an inspection between the date of that agreement and when the public contacted the department after seeing the videos.

Reach Kie Relyea at 360-715-2234 or kie.relyea@bellinghamherald.com.

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