These restaurants were cited by the health department as having the most critical violations in 2018.

Health inspectors from the state regularly visit local restaurants looking for health code violations. The goal is to protect diners from food-borne illness. The results of these visits are publicly posted on the Department of Health's website so consumers can stay informed about the cleanliness of their local restaurants

Critical violations are those that can cause immediate harm to consumers such as under-cooked food and improper storage of ingredients. Other violations like inadequate hand washing facilities or dirty conditions are noted as non-critical violations.

The ten restaurants below all received four or more critical violations during their latest inspection of 2018. In some cases, the restaurants were given the opportunity to correct the violations by inspectors and have done so. Just because a restaurant is on this list doesn't mean that they are currently in violation of the health code. However, the Board of Health does think it's important to be armed with information on how seriously a restaurant takes kitchen cleanliness, food safety and other important rules that affect the food you feed your family.

Here are the top five restaurants in Dutchess, Orange, Ulster and Sullivan counties that received the most critical violations in 2018.

Crunchies on Green Avenue in Woodridge - 8 Critical Violations

The eight critical violations and 12 non-critical violations include food stored at dangerous temperatures, improperly cleaned work surfaces, dirty cleaning cloths and inadequate bathroom and handwashing facilities.

Santa Fe on Broadway in Tivoli - 6 Critical Violations

Inspectors found, among other things, unsafe food temperatures, the possibility of cross-contamination and prepared foods stored uncovered.

Fanatics Sports Bar on Broadway in Monticello - 6 Critical Violations

This restaurant received violations for uncleanable food surfaces, tin cans reused for storage, and food obtained from an unapproved source. Inspectors also found procedures that could lead to dangerous cross-contamination of food.

Main Street Pizza on Main Street in South Fallsburg - 6 Critical Violations

Inspectors say the pizzeria was handling prepared food with bare hands during their last visit. Also, food was not stored in a refrigerator and kept at unsafe temperatures. They also found surfaces that came in contact with food were not washed.

Frank's Pizza on Route 211 in Middletown - 5 Critical Violations

This pizzeria was found to be using shellfish from an unapproved source. Canned foods were also found to be in poor condition with dents, bulges and some of them leaking.

The following five restaurants received four critical violations each

Tony Boffa's Restaurant on Railroad Avenue in Middletown

Handshakes on Route 82 in Hopewell Junction

The Colonial Diner on Dolson Avenue in Middletown

The Citrus Cafe on Route 52 in Woodbourne

The Cup and Saucer Diner on Boniface Drive in Pine Bush

You can find out how your favorite restaurant scored on their last health inspection by viewing the online database supplied by the New York State Department of Health.