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.
December 2017's health inspections resulted in an admirable seven grades of "D," nicely down from recent months. A few familiar names make an unfortunate appearance, the "D" hammer dropping hard. This past month, there was an ice machine growing with mold. There was also rodent poop. Thank you, county health inspectors, for shining a light on these subpar conditions so that we can clean up the Valley's restaurants.
Pita Jungle (4340 East Indian School Road, #17)
"Hot Holding Observed bean soup hot holding between 119-122*F. Soup was re-heated to 165*F. All hot items shall be held at or above 135*F."
Gus's New York Pizza (2755 North 91st Avenue, #100)
"Ice machine found with slime mold growing up on the interior drop chute opening; where water collects and slowly drips onto ice reservoir below."
Pei Wei Fresh Kitchen (4340 East Indian School Road, #23)
"Observed package of spinach stored in a container with pre-portioned eggs. Spinach was voluntarily discarded at the time of the inspection. A separation and storage chart was provided. Ready to eat items shall be kept separated from eggs to prevent cross contamination."
Circle K Store (4801 East Elliot Road)
"Pork and Vegetable Egg Rolls, Pork Chile Verde Tornadoes, Cheesy Pepper Jack Tornadoes, Ranchero Steak and Cheese Tornadoes, each holding at 112-117 *F on hot rollers nearest soda fountains. PIC discarded the listed items and contacted maintenance for repairs to the hot rollers. Hot rollers nearest soda fountains shall not be used until repair/replacement has been made and proven to hold foods at 135*F or above."
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Caffe Boa (398 South Mill Avenue, Tempe)
"Observed an employee drop a utensil on the ground and rinse it in the wiping cloth bucket in order to be reused. Had the operator run it through the proper wash, rinse, and sanitize the utensil at the time of inspection."
Madison Meadows (7211 North Seventh Street)
"Employee handling dirty equipment in ware wash area went to handle clean items without washing hands. Employee was instructed on when to wash hands. Ensure that employees wash hands after engaging in activities that may contaminate hands."
Arrowhead Country Club (19888 North 73rd Avenue, Glendale)
"Rodent droppings along floor in downstairs kitchen and in small room next to bar with coffee service."