Restaurant News

Dirty Milk Crates and Black Organic Matter: The January Restaurant D-List

Watch those dogs at Circle K.
Wikimedia Commons
Watch those dogs at Circle K.
Every week, the Maricopa County Environmental Services Department grades restaurants after completing routine health inspections. A D grade means the establishment has committed three or more "priority item" violations (which can directly contribute to increasing the risk of foodborne illness or injury, according to the MCESD) or four or more "priority foundation item" violations (which are indirect). At the beginning of each month, New Times rounds up the restaurants that received a D grade the previous month and excerpts hand-picked observations from the weekly reports, listed below.

Carniceria el Herradero

492 West Ray Road, Chandler

“Observed employee at the bakery touch a loaf of bread with their bare hands which was going to be finished off with margarine and sugar and set out for sale.”

“Observed a large butcher knife used to chop cooked meats and grilled whole chicken with a broken handle. All equipment must be in good repair, smooth, and easily cleanable.”

Circle K Store No. 1584

260 West Van Buren Street

“Package of open hotdogs in walk-in cooler had date mark of 12/20/19. Two other open hot dogs had no date mark and had been in cooler for unknown amount of time and were pulled from cooler and placed on embargo/recommended for discard during inspection.”

“Coffee, cream, and ice dispensers contained accumulation of respective residue on and around dispensers at time of inspection. Areas will be cleaned as soon as possible.”

Filiberto’s Mexican Food

1845 East Guadalupe Road, Tempe

“Observed ice machine with organic buildup on plastic shield. Person in charge will have ice machine washed, rinsed and sanitized prior to next routine inspection.”

“Observed fly paper installed above hot holding line and food prep area. Onions were observed being sliced directly underneath paper.”

click to enlarge Store your eggs wisely. - LAUREN CUSIMANO
Store your eggs wisely.
Lauren Cusimano

Matt’s Big Breakfast

38000 East Sky Harbor Boulevard, Space T4 N3 F41

“Observed an employee handle raw animal proteins, remove their gloves, and then wash their hands for approximately 8 seconds.”

“Several open metal pans of raw shelled eggs were stored on a wire shelf directly above ready to eat leafy greens in a reach-in fridge. All raw animal products MUST be stored beneath ready to eat foods to prevent cross contamination.”

Subway No. 52833

550 West Baseline Road, #103, Mesa

“Observed PIC dip a knife in Quat sanitizer, and then store the knife in a container next to the sanitizer. That same knife was then used again to cut a customers sandwich before the knife was completely air dried.”

“Observed a knife stored in a green container with visible food debris on the blade. Per PIC, this same knife has been used all day (since opening). The green container holds Quat sanitizer which the employees used to dip the knifes in in between use. Discussed with PIC that the knife must be properly washed, rinsed, and sanitized every four hours.”

Salvadoreno Restaurant

303 East Southern Avenue, #113, Mesa

“Observed cabbage shredder with an accumulation of cabbage dried on the blade and inside of the machine. Per PIC, the shredder had not been used today.”

“Also observed knives, scoop, and can opener stored clean in a container. The container had food debris at the bottom with a soiled cloth that the utensils were stored on top of.”

Fat Straw

2200 East Williamsfield Road, #117, Gilbert

“Observed employee going between the back room and front room, working with the register, handling debt cards and then working with open foods without any handwashing. Discussed "when to wash" with person in charge.”

“Observed a bottle of Windex handing on a rack near the register located directly above lids used for customers. Windex was relocated at time of inspection.”

Popeye’s No. 620

2005 West Broadway Road, Mesa
“Observed an employee handle raw chicken, remove gloves and proceed to touch handle to remove cooked chicken. Then employee donned new gloves to handle raw chicken.”

“Observed drain full of wastewater under the fryers. The water had spilled out of the drain, and has pooled under/near the fryers.”

Rumbi Island Grill

5492 East Longbow Parkway, #101, Mesa

“Observed employee handle raw shrimp, remove gloves then put on a new set of gloves to begin prepping food without first washing hands.”

“Observed several chemicals stored above single service cups near cash register. PIC moved chemicals at time of inspection.”

click to enlarge Beware the black ice. - TILTED KILT
Beware the black ice.
Tilted Kilt

Tilted Kilt

2 East Jefferson Street, #22-217

“Observed an employee place raw ground beef onto the grill, remove their gloves, and then proceed to wash their hands for less than 10 seconds.”

“In the kitchen, observed the ice producing machine with black organic matter on the inside top part of the bin. PIC stated they would burn off all the ice and clean the machine.”

Multi-Generation Senior Kitchen

7550 East Adobe Road, Mesa

“Observed employee handling bread sticks. Same employee with gloved hands drank from bottle of water that uses a screw cap. Employee started to finish breadsticks order.”

“Observed several food items inside main walk in refrigerator past expiration dates.”

Four Peaks Brewery

3800 East Sky Harbor Boulevard, Space T4 N1 F35

Note: The airport location is operated by HMSHost, not 4 Peaks Brewery.

“Observed an employee touch a raw beef patty with a gloved hand. The employee removed the glove, put a new glove on, and then touched clean plates and ready to eat buns with the same hand.”

“Observed several between-use knives stored with the blades wedged between the two tight-fitting metal plates of a prep-table cover. This area is not easily cleanable due to the construction of the prep table. Between-use utensils may not be stored in direct contact with areas that are not easily cleanable.”

Cafe Rio

2131 East Camelback Road, #103

“Two containers of tomatoes located near the back storage area were found to contain moldy tomatoes. PIC stated that the establishment uses these tomatoes for both catering and the regular restaurant.”

“At time of inspection the dishwasher was observed handling dirty dishes then directly putting away clean sanitized dishes without first washing their hands. PIC was advised that dirty hands can contaminate sanitized dishes”

Holiday Inn Phoenix Mesa-Chandler

1600 South Country Club Drive, Mesa

“Observed raw packages of filet Mignon and raw marinated steak in the walk-in stored above raw fish. These items were moved below the fish.”

“Observe the pipe leaking water from the hand sink closest to the stove in the main kitchen.”

Wash those milk crates. - DIANA MARTINEZ
Wash those milk crates.
Diana Martinez

Flavors of India

4515 North 16th Street

“In the walk in cooler there were baked potatoes held in a dirty milk crate without any sort of liner. PIC was advised that food stored in dirty containers can become contaminated.”

“The microwave in the kitchen was soiled with food debris. PIC was advised to increase the cleaning frequency of the microwave to avoid possible contamination when food is heated inside.”

The Buffalo Spot

1831 East Camelback Road, Suite B3

“In the walk in cooler there was a plastic bag of pasteurized liquid eggs stored directly below raw chicken.”

“PIC was questioned regarding the employee health policy, as well as reportable symptoms and diseases. PIC was unable to answer with correct reportable symptoms or diseases during inspection."

Popeye’s No. 601

2850 South Alma School Road, Chandler

“Observed employee at the register taking orders, then proceeding to scoop ice with a cup and handing it to the customer. Discussed using a scoop when scooping ice into cups and hand washing in between a change of tasks to prevent contamination.”

“Observed fried chicken at 105-150F in the hot holding unit near the front registers. The temperatures varied, with the chicken on the outsides of the unit being cooler in temperature. Per PIC, the chicken was fried a half hour prior. PIC voluntarily discarded the chicken.”

Editor's note: This article has been updated from its original version.