The Dunkin Donuts in the plaza at 85 Wilmington Road in Burlington was before the Board of Health on Tuesday night after being found in violation of a town policy aimed at ensuring all food preparation is safe.
Health Director Susan Lumenello explained that the restaurant had been found to be in violation of the town policy that all establishments that serve food must have a certified food safety manager on site at all times they are open. This is more stringent than the state requirement that states all establishments must have that type of manager on staff at all times but not necessarily there from open to close.
She said the Dunkin Donuts in question had been found to be in violation of this policy for the second time after this year’s annual inspection.
She further explained that different types of restaurants fall into different food safety levels and that Dunkin Donuts is a risk category one establishment. Risk category one restaurants have pre-cooked food that is not prepared on site and are inspected once per year. Risk category two restaurants do prepare food on site but don’t have any special processes and are inspected twice per year. Risk category three restaurants prepare food on site and do have special processes such as acidification or reduced oxygen packaging and those are inspected three times per year.
Lumenello said the board could take no action or vote to repeal the restaurant’s permit to serve food until it was determined it was in compliance.
A Mr. Sauvageau, the regional manager for the parent company, which operates over 40 locations in Massachusetts and Tennessee, said that since learning of the violation the company has taken steps to come into compliance. He said they have trained all managers and everyone who has opening or closing functions at the restaurant to be certified.
“That way the gap is always covered,” he said.
Sauvageau said the violation was in part due to the restaurant’s high rate of turnover since the start of the pandemic but that they are doing what they can to be in compliance and alleviate any concerns the board may have. This includes scheduling monthly ServSafe and allergen trainings for employees and to require that any new hire be certified in food safety.
“This was an awakening across the organization,” he said. “It’s very unfortunate and it’s not where we want to be. I believe in providing healthy, clean, food-safe environments so we have created this policy for all of our stores and if we have any changes to that policy we plan to work with the Board of Health to ensure we are always covered and that we are providing the environment you expect of us to operate in this town.”
Members of the board said they believed the restaurant to now be in compliance with town policy but said a third violation would not be taken lightly.