July 21, 2016
Since our last guide to Chinatown in early 2014, more attention than ever has been paid to restaurant health inspections across Philadelphia – sparked in large part by a banquet that sickened more than 100 lawyers at Joy Tsin Lau in early 2015. With the city Health Department gaining more power to enforce recommended closures, and the Inquirer's Sam Wood noting the worst offenders in his regular "Clean Plates" column (which includes a database to search recent reports), a number of notable Chinatown spots have been forced into closing temporarily.
July 19, 2016
ISSUE | SEPTA How thorough are regular inspections? Two editorials gave credit to SEPTA for having detected the structural fault in commuter railcars before there was any injury ("No time for slow route," July 7; "SEPTA trains' tortuous track," Wednesday). For that, all train travelers are blessed. I wonder, however, how thorough safety inspections were when, after seeing that one coach was out of kilter, SEPTA determined that 115 of 120 Silverliner V coaches had structural cracks and all of them needed to be taken out of service immediately.
July 5, 2016 |
Structural failures found in a third of SEPTA's train fleet are forcing more than 100 cars off the tracks indefinitely. Fixes could take the rest of the summer, but riders who account for 150,000 trips on Regional Rail each day will likely face crowded trains and big delays. "Unfortunately, it will be rough on our railroad customers," said Jeff Knueppel, SEPTA's general manager. The flaw, a crack in a weight-bearing beam on a train car's undercarriage, has shown up in almost all of SEPTA's Silverliner V's, the newest trains in its Regional Rail fleet.
June 25, 2016 |
A Montgomery County-based home inspector defrauded at least 138 property buyers by promising inspections he never performed, prosecutors said Thursday. Joseph T. Michalski, 46, of Souderton, is facing charges of felony theft by deception, receiving stolen property, and other offenses for allegedly ripping off customers of his business, Sherlock Homes Inspection Services. The company sold home-inspection services such as water, termite and radon testing, the Montgomery County District Attorney's office said.
June 16, 2016 |
Eating out in South Jersey? If you're dining in Gloucester County, you can now check the latest health inspection reports for restaurants from Deptford to Franklin, from Swedesboro to Williamstown. The reports, which are updated daily, can be found online on Philly.com through the Inquirer's Clean Plates project, a searchable database that also contains inspection evaluations for restaurants in Philadelphia and Bucks County. More area counties are to be added as their databases become accessible.
May 4, 2016
ISSUE | RESTAURANTS Post inspections Kudos to the Inquirer and Philly.com and their Clean Plates web page for providing access to the results of inspections of area restaurants. However, the public may need more information. For example, I recently walked by a restaurant near City Hall that had 19 illness-risk and retail violations, yet it was doing a booming lunch business. Food poisoning is horrendous to recover from, and I urge the Inquirer to continue publishing restaurant inspection reports.
December 31, 2015
By Michael Nadol and Edward M. Dunham Jr. In 2015, a series of audits and investigative reports have highlighted ongoing challenges and flaws in Philadelphia's Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I). These efforts largely followed up on previous expert reviews by Mayor Nutter's Special Independent Advisory Commission and City Council. Outside the spotlight's glare, the city has been actively working to rebuild and reform its building safety programs: Annual funding for L&I has increased from $21.5 million to $31.5 million over the past three years - with authorized positions up from 300 to 384. A comprehensive technology upgrade has been launched, and the first phase is operational.
December 24, 2015 |
The Inspector General's Office found that the Department of Licenses and Inspections failed to follow proper demolition guidelines in nearly 80 percent of cases reviewed over a nine-month period, according to an audit released Tuesday. The audit was launched in response to an Inquirer story, published on Oct. 25, that reported that same rate of mishandled inspections. The Inquirer story was based on the paper's own review of L&I records. The Inspector General's report concluded that "the most significant finding of the audit is that in 57 of 100 permits, inspectors improperly passed at least one inspection that should have been waived or failed.
November 25, 2015 |
United Hospital Supply Corp., a family-run Burlington, N.J., company that makes and designs metal cabinets and furniture for laboratories and offices, faces a proposed fine of $181,500 for 21 worker health and safety violations - most of them serious and repeat violations - the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational and Safety and Health Administration said Monday. "The willful and repeat violations cited during these latest inspections were identified in 2010 at United Health Supply Corp.'s facility," Paula Dixon-Roderick, OSHA's area director in Marlton, said in a statement.
October 28, 2015 |
Mayor Nutter ordered the city's inspector general Monday to investigate if the Department of Licenses and Inspections has followed new safety rules put in place after the deadly Center City building collapse. The mandate stems from a report in Sunday's Inquirer that L&I failed to properly inspect more than 80 percent of private demolitions over the last nine months. Nutter called the Inquirer report "tremendously troubling. " He vowed to hold officials and inspectors accountable, depending on what Inspector General Amy Kurland discovers.