Restaurant News

April Restaurant D-List: Tree Trunks Aren't Cutting Boards

Filiberto's shows up on this month's D-List.
Filiberto's shows up on this month's D-List. Charles Barth
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, which resulted in 22 restaurants landing on the D-List.

Grandview Steakhouse Restaurant & Lounge

6210 East McKellips Road, Mesa

"Observed dirty dishes in handwashing sink next to coffee/tea station."

"Observed pot roast and meatballs in walk-in cooler from 4/1/2019 (2 days past their discard date)."

Senor Taco

1817 East Baseline Road, Tempe

"Observed Food handling employee at the cook line wiping their gloved hands on their dirty apron in between handling ready to eat foods."

"Observed ceviche (currently made by marinating raw shrimp in lime, which per FDA 2013 food code is considered raw since no heating/cooking step is conducted) stored above gallons of horchata, and a box of raw chorizo was stored above gallons of sour cream."

Grab N Go No. 404

784 North McQueen Road, Gilbert

"Observed squeegee being stored in handwashing sink in stockroom. Handwashing sink was observed to have not been used in quite some time due to heavy buildup of hard water scale and dust."

"Observed no soap at handwashing sink in stockroom."

"Observed no sanitizer test strips available at the time of inspection."

Quick Stop Mart

3860 East McDowell Road

"During inspection of kitchen employees running kitchen were unaware of how to properly date mark, proper handwashing, proper temperatures for cold and hot holding, and lacked any knowledge of BIG5 signs and symptoms of foodborne illness."

"No soap available at handwashing sink."

"Establishment was using a portion of cut tree trunk as cutting board. Wood has visible scoring and staining. Brought to attention of employee that trunk could not be used as a cutting surface and it was removed."


3225 East Camelback Road

"A pan of cooked potatoes was uncovered in the walk in fridge and had a significant amount of mold growing on the surface. According to the Person in charge, the potatoes had been cooked 2 days prior."

"Observed raw sausage stored above raw veal and portioned pasta. The raw veal was also stored above a pan of portioned pasta. All raw animal products must be stored beneath ready to eat food items."

"Several bottles and bubble packs of pills were stored in the kitchen on shelves directly above food contact surfaces."

Giuseppe's on 28th

2824 East Indian School Road, #10

"Several pounds of raw chicken were stored in a used grocery store 'thank you' bag, with the raw chicken directly contacting the bag. These bags are designed for the single service purpose of temporarily storing goods bought from a store, and are NOT food safe."

Salvadoreno Restaurant

303 East Southern Avenue, #113, Mesa

"Observed no current food handler certificates for any employees at the time of inspection."

"Observed employee crack raw shell eggs and put on gloves to begin handling RTE foods without washing hands."

"Observed employee dump cooked meat into kitchen hand wash sink."

"Observed several tiles missing in kitchen floor resulting in hard to clean surface, hole in wall by hand wash sink in kitchen, and hole in kitchen door. All floors, walls, and ceilings must be smooth and easily cleanable."

click to enlarge Mellow Mushroom's location on 50th Street lands on the D-list. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Mellow Mushroom's location on 50th Street lands on the D-list.
Benjamin Leatherman

Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers

14205 South 50th Street

"Observed ready to eat fruit (cut pineapple, containers of strawberries), and ready to eat chocolate chip cookie placed in same container as raw bacon in the prep refrigerator. The cookie and cut pineapple were in direct contact with the raw bacon and were discarded by manager."

"Breakfast menu had an incomplete consumer advisory. Consumer advisory statement was present at the bottom of the menu however none of the steak or egg products which are cooked to order had any indication that they were cooked to order, or an asterisk directing customer to the statement at the bottom. Staff manually added an asterisk to the steak and egg items as well as an asterisk next to the consumer statement at the bottom."

Salt & Lime Modern Mexican Grill

9397 East Shea Boulevard, #115, Scottsdale

"On cook line, employee texting on phone, then started working with cooking utensils with same gloved hands. Instructed employee to remove gloves, wash hands, and don new gloves after contamination has occurred."

"At bar, employee handle cut fruit for customer drink with bare hands. Instructed employee to used tongs or pick to handle ready to eat fruit for customer drinks."

Hilton Garden Inn Phoenix

15 East Monroe Street

"Upon arrival, inspector was informed by employees that there was no person in charge. Employee informed inspector that a manager would arrive in one hour. All food establishments shall have a designated person in charge while operating."

"In the walk-in fridge, observed a pan of raw bacon stored directly over yogurt parfait cups and an open box of lemons. Had PIC move the bacon to a lower shelf. Also in the walk-in, observed a box of raw sausages stored directly over a bowl of prepared salad. Had PIC move the salad bowl to be above the raw sausage."

Pho Gia Dinh

3002 North Arizona Avenue, #1-2, Chandler

"Observed employee drinks being stored on prep table shelves. When employees were directed to move drinks, they moved them to another work table next to knife and cutting board."

"Observed employee drink from cup then handle to-go containers and ziploc bags at the time of inspection. Manager had employee wash hands at the time of inspection."

"Observed mouse droppings on top of mechanical dishwasher, and on floor underneath dishwasher and in dry storage room behind dishwashing area. Person in charge said pest control services establishment every month but no receipts were available at the time of inspection due to a recent break in."

click to enlarge Improper hand-washing is certain to earn Phoenix-area restaurants a spot on the dreaded D-list. - LINDSAY MOORE
Improper hand-washing is certain to earn Phoenix-area restaurants a spot on the dreaded D-list.
Lindsay Moore

Hana Sushi Restaurant

602 West Union Hills Drive, #3

"Observed employee rinse hands for 2 seconds after handling raw chicken, discussed proper handwashing procedure at time."

"Chicken katsu deep fried to only 155 degrees F prior to service, employee stated that it was pre-cooked prior to frying however it was discovered that this information was miscommunicated due to language barrier, and item was being cooked from raw."

Salon Acapulco

1420 North 24th Street

"The establishment maintains 90 days of shellstock tags for the oysters served, but does not mark the date the final oyster from the batch is sold/served."

"Observed raw shelled eggs stored above containers of clam/tomato juice, raw tuna stored directly on top of an unsealed package of cut lettuce, and raw bacon above ready to eat salsas."

Carniceria El Rancho Grande LLC

4227 South Central Avenue

"In the walk-in cooler, observed a metal pan of shrimp ceviche stored directly above an uncovered pan of cooked carne molido."

"In the back prep area, observed a large handheld immersion blender stored in the clean dish area. The blender had a build up of organic matter on the blades."

Jin Shabu

2055 North Dobson Road, Suite C4, C5, C6, Chandler

"Observed employee tap employee on the back and touch face then proceed to handle clean equipment for portioning out syrup without washing hands."

"Observed raw, shaved beef stored above cooked shellfish and raw fish."

"Observed prep table for buffet line toppings with lid open at the time of inspection. Open container of rice seasoning was observed next to prep table also with no lid. Employees were observed walking past prep table but not closing the lid after customers."

"Observed dumpster lids open at the time of inspection."

Urbanh LLC

2015 North Dobson Road, #9, Chandler

"Observed employee food throughout the walk-in cooler above and comingled with customers food."

"Observed raw marinated chicken being thawed in bowl on counter top."

"Observed homemade vegetable slicer fashioned from slicer glued to the inside of a container lid."

Filiberto's Mexican Food

1601 East McDowell Road

"The establishment does not have a person in charge present. According to an employee, there was no employee in charge in the kitchen or front of the restaurant, and a manager/person in charge would not be present for another 2 hours."

"Observed raw shelled eggs stored directly on top of prepped to go containers of salsa."

"Observed a spray can of raid pesticides stored underneath the three compartment sink."

click to enlarge Mesa's Backyard Taco, which opened in Mesa in 2013, is on this month's D-list. - SHELBY MOOR
Mesa's Backyard Taco, which opened in Mesa in 2013, is on this month's D-list.
Shelby Moor

Backyard Taco

1420 South Higley Road, Gilbert

"Observed employee handle raw meat at the grill with gloved hands and then proceeded to touch cooked meats without changing gloves and washing hands."

"Observed raw meat on grille touching cooked meat. Cooked meat touching raw beef was removed from grille to the "done" container."

Filiberto's Mexican Food

2001 South Seventh Avenue

"In the walk-in fridge, observed a large 5 gallon bucket containing red salsa. It was measured at 60*F, and had ben made the previous day."

La Carreta De Lily Elotes Y Neveria

2902 West Van Buren Street, #5

"There was various Ziploc bags full of cooked shrimp inside of the walk-in refrigerator. When requested, the operator was unable to present an invoice, a receipt, or original packaging for the shrimp."

"The handle of a large scoop stored within ice for consumption inside of black/red cooler that is between the two ice cream display cases was making direct contact with the ice."

click to enlarge Ruchi Indian Cuisine in Chandler was one of 10 area restaurants to make this month's D-list. - JACOB TYLER DUNN
Ruchi Indian Cuisine in Chandler was one of 10 area restaurants to make this month's D-list.
Jacob Tyler Dunn

Ruchi Indian Cuisine

2051 West Warner Road, Chandler

"Employee handled dirty dishes then clean dishes without washing hands. Two employees went outside and came back inside and started to handle food without washing hands."

"Five spray cans of Raid insecticide stored under the prep sink. Manager removed them from the establishment. Pest control must be done one by certified pest control only."

Beast of Bourbon Bar and Grill

2235 South Power Street, #127, Mesa

"Package of cheese curds found stored atop cook line cold table reach-in cooler in insert pan above other wrapped cheese varieties at 66F for approximately 3 hours per cook."

"Copper cocktail mugs found stored on shelf inside reach-in door to bar walk-in cooler - worker removed mugs at time. Copper is prohibited for use with acidic beverages/foods such as alcohol and carbonated beverages. Obtain mugs that are lined with aluminum."
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Lauren Cusimano is Phoenix New Times' food and drink editor. She is a journalist and food waste writer based in Tempe. Joys include eating wings, riding bikes, knowing everyone at the bar, talking too much about The Simpsons, and falling asleep while reading.
Contact: Lauren Cusimano