Longman & Eagle Fails Inspection, But We're Not Worried

By Amy Cavanaugh in Food on Aug 19, 2012 8:00PM

2012_08_19_LE.png 312 Dining Diva posted yesterday about Longman & Eagle failing its August 7 food inspection, noting that "Michelin-starred Longman & Eagle apparently failed a number of major food and health violations… The violations were listed as Risk 1, which is considered high."

The inspection report is posted online at Every Block, which pulls the information from the Chicago Department of Public Health data portal. It notes one serious citation: "found overflowing garbage containers without lock and chain, and grease stains on ground area, area not being properly cleaned and maintained."

Other notes from the report include "must clean vents above cooking equipment first floor and basement areas" and "must provide drop ceiling basement prep area," which is also noted in the February 21 inspection, which the restaurant passed.

These violations aren't enough to shut Longman & Eagle down and the restaurant has time to correct them. Via Every Block:

Violations are marked as "serious" if they will likely create imminent health hazards if they aren't corrected within a timeframe provided by the health department… If serious violations aren't fixed in the designated timeframe, the violations become "critical," and the establishment will receive a citation to close.

Are we worried? Not yet.

A Chicago Tribune article from December 2011 reminds us that even restaurants like Alinea fail inspections.

What may seem like a big deal turns out to be a common occurrence in Chicago restaurants, according to a Tribune analysis of newly available city data. The records show that 1 in 5 Chicago restaurant inspections over the last two years resulted in a failure.

And it doesn't just happen in dives. Of the Michelin-starred Chicago restaurants inspected — the guidebook designation is awarded to exceptional restaurants — more than a third failed an inspection in the last two years, according to an online database launched last month as part of the city's new transparency effort.

So what does this mean? Are Chicago's restaurants especially dangerous? Not really, health officials say: Chicago restaurants don't fare much worse than those in other big cities, and no restaurant can remain open if its violations pose a threat to public safety.

"Let's put it in perspective: A fail should not necessarily scare a customer away," said Efrat Stein, spokeswoman for the Chicago Department of Public Health. It's not uncommon for any type of food business to fail an inspection, whether high-end or mom-and-pop. What's important is how quickly they fix the problem."

And the Tribune notes that "records posted by the health department show that most Chicago restaurants do respond quickly."

So we're not too concerned about Longman & Eagle's violations, and we'd have no problem recommending that you head over there now for the wild boar sloppy joe.