Restaurant News

9 Area Restaurants Make December's D-List: Beware the Pathogens

Smashburger No. 1449 in Mesa was one of nine area restaurants to make December's D-list.
Smashburger No. 1449 in Mesa was one of nine area restaurants to make December's D-list. Jacob Tyler Dunn
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 of last month's report.

Nine metro Phoenix area restaurants made the health inspector's naughty list in December. Violations include failure to wash hands, some not-so-fresh nacho cheese left at room temperature for over four hours, floor-cleaning chemicals stored near food, and chicken mole with white organic matter growing on it. These eateries all received a D rating from the Maricopa County health inspector.

Lucky Lou's American Grill
3245 West Ray Road, #7, Chandler

“Observed cook change and discard gloves after throwing out food, and don new gloves without washing hands first. The cook was stopped and was told to wash their hands prior to donning new gloves. Cook removed gloves and washed hands. Hands must be washed prior to donning new gloves.”

Ted's Hot Dogs
1755 East Broadway Road, Tempe

“Time/Temperature Control for Safety Food, Hot Holding Chili and nacho cheese in hot holding pan measured at 71*. PIC (person in charge) stated the foods had been in there for over 4 hours and the pan had not been turned on high enough. Had PIC discard items. Please ensure all hot held items are being kept at 135* or above.”

Albertson's No. 23
861 East Warner Road, Gilbert

“Cleaning Procedure Observed employee rise off hands with water only at handwashing sink after washing dishes. Had employee wash hands correctly at time of inspection. Discussed proper handwashing with person in charge at time of inspection. Handwashing is a critical factor in reducing fecal-oral pathogens that can be transmitted from hands to RTE food as well as other pathogens that can be transmitted from environmental sources. Many employees fail to wash their hands as often as necessary and even those who do may use flawed techniques.”

“Observed employee on phone before donning gloves to help customer. Discussed when to wash with person in charge at time of inspection. The hands may become contaminated when the food employee engages in specific activities. The increased risk of contamination requires handwashing immediately before, during, or after the activities listed. The specific examples listed in this Code section are not intended to be all inclusive. Employees must wash their hands after any activity which may result in contamination of the hands.”

Rock N Ronnies Bar & Grill
10262 East Apache Trail, Mesa

“Can opener blade soiled from a previous day of use — worker began cleaning the can opener blade at time. Wash, rinse, and sanitize the can opener blade at least once each day it is used.”

“Separation-Storage. Gallon jugs of floor polish and floor sealer found stored with clean wares on a clean wares storage shelf outside the walk-in freezer — worker relocated both chemicals at time. Properly segregate all chemicals from foods or clean wares and food equipment.”

El Rancho Market
1076 North Arizona Avenue, Chandler

“Observed cooked chicken mole made 11/20/2018 with white organic matter on it. Kitchen department manager discarded item since it was no longer honestly presented. Please make sure kitchen department manager(s) are thoroughly checking all items to ensure they are safe to consume.”

Supercarniceria Las 4 Milpas
6639 West McDowell Road

“Hand Drying Provision-Observed that hand washing sink next to cook line did not have paper towels nearby at time of inspection and hand washing sink at outdoor grilling station did not have soap, paper towels, or hot water. Items were stocks and hot water restored during inspection. Discussed hand washing policy and procedure with employee.”

Arriba Mexican Grill No. 1005
2855 South Market Street, Gilbert

“Observed 2 pans of green chili in hot holding case with internal temps of 117F-123F. Green chili was cooked 4 hours prior. Green chili was discarded at time of inspection.”
“Observed enchiladas on a pan in the top part of the prep-unit with an internal temp of 81F. Enchiladas were discarded at time of inspection. Discussed proper cold holding temps with person in charge at time of inspection. Bacterial growth and/or toxin production can occur if time/temperature control for safety food remains in the temperature "Danger Zone" of 5oC to 57oC (41oF to 135oF) too long.”

The Lola
6770 North Sunrise Boulevard, Suite G109, Glendale

“Observed rack of dishes in front of handwashing sink and margarita glass and equipment part in handwashing sink near dishwasher. Employee moved rack and removed items from handwashing sink when brought to attention. Ensure handwashing sink is always accessible.”

Smashburger No. 1449
1335 South Alma School Road, #103, Mesa

“Observed half eaten pastry stored above food prep table where employee was cutting and preparing lettuce. Discussed approved food storage areas and approved areas for eating. PIC discarded pastry at the time of inspection. Discussed importance of proper employee food storage and eating with the PIC.”
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