Every week, the county's health inspectors within Maricopa County Environmental Services give restaurants grades after completing inspections. Participation in the rating system, however, is voluntary, which means owners or managers do not have to accept a grade after an inspection; instead, the restaurants are listed online as "not participating." And in some cases, grades posted online may change, which typically means a restaurant has provided necessary documentation for food safety or fixed a critical issue that led to a low grade. Here's a more detailed explanation.
Big names earned awful grades in the September 2017 round of health inspections. Subway. The embattled fast food burrito-slinger Chipotle. (I'm not really sure why anyone in metro Phoenix would ever consider Chipotle given the world of better burrito options here, but that's another story.) With 11 Valley restaurants scoring 'D' grades, it wasn't an awful month for food safety in the Valley. Still, we could do much better.
Chipotle Mexican Grill (3009 West Agua Fria Freeway, #1)
"Staff member handling the phone, handling cash and credit cards at register and then applying gloves to handle ready-to-eat foods for on-line and call ahead orders. Instructed staff to remove gloves and wash hands prior to applying gloves... 2nd consecutive repeat violation."
Subway (2714 West Southern Avenue, Tempe)
"Observed meat balls (45*F), cooked egg whites (45*F), chicken (45*F), cut tomatoes (45*F), cheese (44*F) and tuna (44*F) internal temperature. Per manager, the defrost is set for 6am, but items were out of temperature for an unknown period of time. Tomatoes, tuna, meatballs, and cooked egg whites were discarded."
Rivas Mexican Food (3504 West Northern Avenue)
"Observed raw chorizo stored in the same container as cooked, ready-to-eat bacon."
Jerry's Restaurant (2323 East Thomas Road)
"Observed cook crack eggs onto grill with gloved hands and put on new gloves without washing hands. Discussed double glove options and had cook wash hands before continuing. Please ensure hands are washed when changing gloves."
Filiberto's (4035 South Arizona Avenue, Chandler)
"Two knives in holder near 3-compartment sink were observed to have food residue on them... Onion slicer was observed to have food residue in the slicer... Ice bin in back prep area was observed to have organic residue on the top rim inside the ice bin."
El Alboroto Mariscos & Chavelas (8427 West Peoria Avenue, Peoria)
"Food service employee handled raw fish when discarding it into the garbage, then proceeded to prepare ready to eat foods without first washing his hands."
Red Dragon (2160 North Alma School Road, #114, Chandler)
"Cooked BBQ Pork found in walk-in cooler with datemark of 4/10 [emphasis added]."
El Pollo Loco (6535 West Indian School Road)
"One of the side access doors of the walk-in cooler had a latch that was broken and being held in place with a screwdriver. The door did not close completely and was allowing hot air from the grills to cause temperatures inside of the walk-in that were not desirable for proper cold holding."
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Oregano's (1960 West Germann Road, #5, Chandler) "Observed box of raw shelled eggs being stored on shelf above cans of marinara sauce in upright refrigerator."
Ralph's Snack Bar ("Mobile Food Unit")
In handwashing sink observed food debris and stains. Please clean handwashing sink and use handwashing stations for handwashing only. This is the 2nd consecutive violation, and the third time this violation has been noted in the last inspections.
I-Mad (4301 North Civic Center Plaza, Scottsdale)
"Observed two soda nozzles at the bar soiled with black organic matter."