17 Metro Phoenix Restaurants Scored a 'D' on County Health Inspections in June

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.

The summer of poor food safety practices continues, with 17 Valley restaurants racking up enough infractions to warrant a "D" grade from inspectors, and one that received two "D" ratings in a single month. Most of the violators had issues keeping their raw food cold, while others faced more unusual issues, like bird infestations.

Fame Caffe (4700 North Central Avenue, #101)

 "A container of pooled raw eggs was in the walk-in cooler stored above gallons of milk. The manager then moved eggs to the lower shelf."

Grandview Steak House Restaurant & Lounge (6210 East Mckellips Road, Mesa)

"Bowls of bar snacks such as goldfish crackers found on bar for general use by customers however, prior to being used this day — bartender removed snacks from bar at time. Snacks must be served on a per party basis. No re-service or multiple party use of these foods is permitted."

Main Event Entertainment (8545 South Emerald Drive, Tempe)

"Observed sliced tomatoes to be at 51°F, item had been there since the day before the inspection. Also observed Chopped lettuce salad mix, mozzarella cheese, precooked chicken, precooked meatballs to be at at temperature of 47°F-51°F inside prep refrigerator. All items were placed there since 9am and were tossed out at the time of the inspection 2pm."

Philly's Sports Grill (4855 East Warner Road, Suite A-31)

"Observed hot dog sausages wrapped in raw bacon above cooked pizza sauce and cooked chicken wings. Requested PIC to move raw bacon wrapped hot dogs below cooked items. Please follow food separation chart to prevent cross contamination."

El Sabor De Juarez Mexican Food (3515 West Northern Avenue)

"Observed cooked rice stored in plastic grocery-shopping bag in hot holding unit. Person in charge moved the rice to a food grade bag at time of inspection. Ensure food contact surfaces are always made out of food-grade materials and are easily cleanable."

Mariscos Mi Nuevo Nayarit (6740 West McDowell Road)

"In walk-in various items were holding between 66-68°F. Items were raw fish (3 boxes), raw oyster (2 boxes), raw beef/chicken (2 boxes) shrimp (2 boxes), mussels (8 boxes), shrimp ceviche, diced tomatoes, multiple 5 gallon buckets of sauces (alfredo, cream sauce, etc.) pooled eggs and shelled eggs. Per person in charge, all raw meats had been delivered within 4 hours due to failure of unit the previous day. PIC states that after unit was fixed, it was not turned backed to 41°F. PIC adjust at time but unit was holding with internal temperature of 68°F. Items that were delivered this morning were moved to freezer/ working refrigerator unit. Items that were not prepared today were embargoed."

Charleston's Restaurant (1040 North 54th Street, Chandler)

"Observed prep refrigerator unit to contain an internal temperature of 60°F. Lettuce had been placed there for an hour and was found to be at 48°F. Cook stated he knew unit was not able to maintain a temperature of 41°F or below and cycled through lettuce every hour. Lettuce was embargoed at the time of the inspection. Also observed raw chicken in refrigerator cabinet near grill are to contain a temperature of 55°F, raw chicken was prepped at 10:30 am in the morning, and placed in unit after being prepped. The temperature of the raw chicken was recorded at 2:00 pm, and tossed out at the time of the inspection. Also observed butter near grill area to be sitting out a temperature of 80°F. Item has been placed there since 10:30 am as well, and tossed out at 2:00 pm."

El Molino Mexican Cafe (3554 North Goldwater Boulevard, Suite D, Scottsdale)

"Hot water not available at the hand wash sink at the time of inspection. Hot water capacity must be able to meet the demand of the establishment. Repair prior to re-inspection."

Angie's & Jimmie's Pizzeria (3446 West Camelback Road, #138)

"Observed dry build-up of food matter on potato slicer near three compartment sink. Person in charge was unsure of exactly when it had been cleaned last, but stated they are aware it needs to be cleaned more often."

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Felicia Campbell has written about food, culture, and cars for digital and print publications all over the world and is the author of The Food of Oman: Recipes and Stories from the Gateway to Arabia (Andrews McMeel, 2015). Her husband learned quickly that she’d rather get a bag of avocados than a bouquet of roses.