Dozens of health violations reported at Rhode Island beaches

The Department of Health the food at all three beaches is safe to eat.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The Rhode Island Department of Health found dozens of violations at three state beaches’ concession stands over the month of July, according to records published on the department’s website.

The beaches named were Misquamicut State Beach in Westerly and Narragansett’s Scarborough and Roger Wheeler State Beaches. The concession stands at all three beaches were operated by a company a company owned by former Rhode Island Democratic Party Chairman David Caprio.

The report lists several unsanitary issues, including meat thawing in stagnant water, foul odors coming from grease traps and clam chowder stored in restrooms. According to state health officials, all of the concession stands’ issues have since been resolved.

Ernest Julian with the Department of Health said the issues were never severe enough to shut down the stand, and he said many of the violations were likely the results of honest mistakes.

“With new places, you have new management…you have teenagers in the kitchen,” Julian said. “There’s mistakes. Procedures aren’t in place yet, so that’s why we do opening inspection.”

Julian said the food at all three beaches is safe to eat and that “there are no hazards to health at this time.”

Caprio resigned from his post on Monday. State police are currently investigating the concession contractawarded to Caprio – an investigation that State Police Col. Steven O’Donnell said has been ongoing for “several months.”

Caprio did not immediately return a phone call to comment on the snack bar violations or the state police investigation.

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