Split Rail Tavern was shut down after 32 violations were noted during a recent inspection.

This week the West Chester Health Department forced the closure of the Split Rail Tavern. A cease and desist order was issued after 32 health violations were found during a routine inspection. I did not get a response from anyone at the restaurant but the health department issued the following statement.

“On Tuesday, August 22, following a thorough inspection, the Chester County Health Department closed the Split Rail Tavern in West Chester, due to a number of identified health violations. The owner of the Split Rail Tavern is working to address those violations, and until the violations are resolved and the Health Department inspection confirms this, the restaurant will remain closed.”

According to the Health Department’s spokesperson at this time, no food-borne illnesses have been reported or complaints made in connection with the restaurant. Even still, you may want to hold off reading this item until after lunch. 

“Adult and juvenile cockroaches were found in cracks in the walls and in the booths in the dining room.”

Chester County Health Inspector

Listed violations: 

Employees reusing gloves, food stored in single-use containers, food stored directly on the floor, food stored with no covers, kitchen cleaning cloths wet with no sanitizer, a paper towel holder with no paper towels, a handwash sink with no soap, food utensils put away with food residue still on them, a dishwasher not properly sanitizing, a dishwasher that is leaking, a pile of trash found outside, and no shocker here, no one in charge with adequate food safety knowledge. 

During the visit chicken was discarded after it was found to be sitting on a counter all morning unrefrigerated, a bottle of vodka was tossed after a fly was found in it, and so were some in-house sauces that were stored three weeks past their expiration date. There was also a litany of cleaning tasks from the floors to the walls to the ceilings. All appliances needed cleaning including the walk-in refrigerator, keg coolers, hand sinks, bar freezer, three-compartment sinks, exhaust fans, ovens, and dishwashers. Also included were the wire shelving, the second-floor wait station, and all booths. 

And the granddaddy of them all – and I quote, “Live adult and juvenile cockroaches were found throughout the kitchen area on food preparation tables, on the walls, near the sinks, in between equipment, and in the hand sinks. Adult and juvenile cockroaches were found in cracks in the walls and in the booths in the dining room.” Ew. 

You can read the full report on the State Inspection website just search by name. 


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Originally published, Aug. 25, 2023

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