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Toronto’s Cheesecake Factory passes health inspection after failing last week

Popular eatery received conditional grade on Feb. 22 after seven infractions were found. It addressed the problems and received a passing grade next day.

Yorkdale Mall’s popular new attraction, the Cheesecake Factory, landed in hot water last week after failing a city health inspection.

The beloved American chain’s first Canadian location, which opened in late November, got slapped with a yellow conditional grade after it racked up seven infractions, two of them crucial, five of them significant, on Thursday.

The next day, health inspectors returned and the restaurant received a passing grade, a City of Toronto report said.

According to the city website, significant infractions present a potential health risk and must be corrected in 24 to 48 hours or legal action may be taken.

Crucial infractions present an immediate health risk.

The crucial infractions were for failing to ensure that food was not contaminated, and for failing to keep hazardous foods at 4 C or colder.

“These items must be corrected immediately or an Order to Close the premises can be issued and/or immediate action must be taken to remove or eliminate the health hazard,” the website says.

“We take food safety and sanitation very seriously and are committed to providing a safe dining experience to all of our guests,” said Alethea Rowe, spokesperson for the Cheesecake Factory, in an email statement.

“The restaurant took immediate corrective action to fix the deficiencies identified during the inspection, and passed their re-inspection the following day. Our guests can be assured that our food is safe and of the highest quality.”

The city’s report on the Cheesecake Factory said the operator failed to provide separate handwashing sinks, which must be used only for handwashing and not food preparation or dishwashing, according to the DineSafe guidelines. The restaurant also got in trouble for failing to use proper utensils to “ensure food safety,” the report said.

The guidelines say restaurants should “use proper utensils to reduce direct hand contact with prepared food.” All utensils must be kept clean and in good condition, and all cracked or “deeply grooved food contact surfaces” must be discarded.

The report said the Cheesecake Factory had failed to wash multi-use utensils, provide accurate thermometers and follow proper procedure to ensure food safety.

The restaurant has been hugely popular in the months since it opened; patrons often have to wait up to three hours in line for a seat.

“Only about a three-hour wait to get dinner at The Cheesecake Factory in Yorkdale. Not bad . . . I think?” one tweeter said in the middle of February, nearly three months after the grand opening.

“Months later and it’s still so hard to get into the Cheesecake Factory at Yorkdale,” said another person.