SOUTH KINGSTOWN - TwoTen Oyster Bar and Grill temporarily closed recently after a number of issues were cited by health inspectors from the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH). The seafood establishment is currently open with a RIDOH food safety consultant on site.
RIDOH said its initial inspections carried out Thursday, July 25, were the result of two reports of people experiencing symptoms of vibriosis after eating at the restaurant. After the inspection, TwoTen Oyster Bar and Grill voluntarily closed.
“The closure was voluntary,” said RIDOH Public Information Officer Joseph Wendelken. “There were a number of issues cited by health inspectors, and there was consensus that it was best for the restaurant to temporarily close to ensure that those issues were addressed.”
Further inspections were conducted on Friday, July 26 and Monday, July 29. According to inspection reports from RIDOH, there were 22 food borne illness risk factors found at the establishment, including food condition and temperature control, cleanliness of food-contact surfaces, the presence of “insects, rodents and/or animals,” a lack of records related to shellfish served and a lack of required food safety professionals.
TwoTen Oyster Bar and Grill reopened shortly after the first inspection with a food safety consultant on site, according to RIDOH, which will enact further measures to ensure the restaurant’s compliance with food safety standards in the near future.
“The consultant is still there, and we anticipate that she will be there for several more weeks to ensure that proper food safety practices are being followed,” said Wendelken. “RIDOH inspectors are also going to be doing regular, unannounced inspections at the restaurant.”
RIDOH does not issue monetary fines for health code violations.
“The establishment does not employ a full-time, on-site manager certified in food safety at all times when time temperature control for safety food if being prepared, handled and/or served,” states a RIDOH inspection report dated July 26, which listed the lack of a food safety professional as a “repeat violation.”
“Several time/temperature control for safety foods were observed between 53 degrees and 60 degrees Fahrenheit in a low boy in the kitchen,” the report continues. “Per interview of the person in charge, electric to the unit was disrupted overnight due to the cleaning done in the kitchen. Time/temperature control for safety food must be held at 41 degrees Fahrenheit or below except during preparation, cooking or cooling.”
The report also mentions the improper holding temperature for vacuum-packaged fish products, the observation of several cans of pesticide marked not safe for kitchen use at the establishment’s indoor and outdoor bars, the presence of flies and a large accumulation of unused equipment outside the building.
An owner of TwoTen Oyster Bar and Grill could not be reached for comment.