Chow Bella

Gross Out: Chelsea's Kitchen gets Multiple "No Award" Inspections

By Amy Silverman Sure, everyone has a bad day now and then. But back to back "no award" inspection reports for a restaurant as tony as Chelsea's Kitchen -- the fun and funky casual dining spot on the north bank of the Arizona Canal? Yuck.

And even after the inspectors supposedly cleaned things up? Still yuck.

There are a couple lists in the inspection reports including repeated instances of dirty equipment -- at one point, a long list: "slicer, potato slicer, pans and ice machine" all with "an accumulation of food debris."

Now I get the part where the inspector asks the employees to clean the equipment on the spot. Good job. And I also understand that when you see an employee handling raw hamburger meat then touching ready-to-eat food without washing hands or changing gloves, it works to ask the employee to wash his hands right then, darn it.

But it bugs me that when inspectors find food that's not hot enough, they simply require that it be heated more -- then allow it to be served. I'm glad I wasn't there the day the roasts at Chelsea's had to be heated from 95 to 165 degrees. Really, I would have preferred to skip them altogether. Ditto for the not-so-hot ribs another day.

I'll be sure to keep an eye out for the next inspection -- and for lukewarm meat.

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Amy Silverman is a two-time winner of the Arizona Press Club’s Journalist of the Year award. Her work has appeared on the radio show This American Life and in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Lenny Letter, and Brain, Child. She’s the co-curator of the live reading series Bar Flies, and a commentator for KJZZ, the NPR affiliate in Phoenix. Silverman is the author of the book My Heart Can’t Even Believe It: A Story of Science, Love, and Down Syndrome (Woodbine House 2016). Follow her on Instagram (@amysilverman), Twitter (@amysilvermanaz), and at amy-silverman.com.