Bakery violates health codes
By Douglas Fischer, Chauncey Bailey Project
OAKLAND — Your Black Muslim Bakery, whose worker has been tied to a journalist’s death, was closed by health officials last week and had dangerously unsanitary conditions in December, according to Alameda County records.
The bakery on San Pablo Avenue near the city’s Emeryville border received four “major” violations during a Dec. 19, 2006, restaurant inspection conducted by the Alameda County Environmental Health Department.
The restaurant was closed Friday by Alameda County health officials during a police raid after authorities found filth, waste and other unsanitary conditions, including dead rats and rat droppings.
The iconic North Oakland bakery served as the headquarters for the Black Muslims, a group founded four decades ago on the ideals of black empowerment, respect and self reliance. The group is not affiliated with the Nation of Islam.
But in recent years the group has been tied to murders, racism, vandalism and sexual assaults on young girls. A 19-year-old handyman and member, Devaughndre Broussard, was charged Tuesday with last week’s ambush and killing of a prominent African-American journalist, Oakland Post editor Chauncey Bailey.
County records suggest the San Pablo bakery’s sanitation record is similarly troubled.
In December, agency inspectors found problems so grave that the eatery risked immediate closure, at least according to department policy. Restaurants receiving a major violation must either fix the problem immediately or close until the issue is resolved, according to department’s Web site.
The December inspection on file with the county shows inspectors found the following major violations: Improper disposal or mixing of grease; lack of smooth and cleanable floors, walls and ceilings; lack of an adequate hood system above cooking equipment; and lack of adequate lighting and/or shatterproof lighting fixtures.
Inspectors also cited the restaurant for four minor violations during that December visit: Improper employee hand washing, inadequately maintained restrooms, poorly maintained refrigeration units and potential contamination risks resulting from employee actions.
Unlike other California counties, such as Los Angeles, Alameda County does not rank or score inspections, so it is impossible to tell from the inspection alone how the restaurant’s condition last winter compares with others in Oakland. That will change soon, however, as a new state law requires all county health departments to develop such a scoring system.
A spot check of other restaurants near the bakery show “major” violations at some locations. But with one exception follow-up inspections within a week at those sites show a clean bill of health.
There is no evidence on the department’s Web site of a follow-up inspection at the Your Black Muslim Bakery. More than 200 police raided the Your Black Muslim Bakery and nearby houses last week and seized evidence linking members to Bailey’s shooting, including the shotgun used to kill Bailey, 57, in downtown Oakland.
Seven people, including Yusuf Bey IV, son of late Black Muslim Bakery founder Yusuf Bey, were arrested in connection with past assaults, gun attacks and a kidnapping. Two others are still being sought by police.
Three other Your Black Muslim bakeries or cafes are also on the county’s records. Two of them, a bakery outlet on 17th Street and a bakery cafe on Telegraph Avenue, show only minor violations in their inspections.
Inspection records for all restaurants in Alameda County, including the Your Black Muslim bakeries, can be found online at http://www.acgov.org/aceh/.