Restaurant News

Thank-You Bags Should Not Store Meat: It’s the August 2020 Restaurant D-List

The familiar Filiberto's sign shines like a beacon in the night, as if to say, "Give us your tired, your hungry, your tipsy masses."
The familiar Filiberto's sign shines like a beacon in the night, as if to say, "Give us your tired, your hungry, your tipsy masses." Charles Barth
Every week, the Maricopa County Environmental Services Department grades restaurants after completing routine health inspections. A D grade means the establishment has committed three or more "priority item" violations (which can directly contribute to increasing the risk of foodborne illness or injury, according to the MCESD) or four or more "priority foundation item" violations (which are indirect). At the beginning of each month, Phoenix New Times rounds up the restaurants that received a D grade the previous month and excerpts hand-picked observations from the weekly reports, listed below.

Chili's Grill & Bar

6648 East McKellips Road, Mesa

“Observed employee with one gloved hand grab item off of the floor. Employee with same gloved hands proceeded to work with open food plate of fajitas.”

“Observed spray bottle with Yellow Peroxide with spray portion angled over open container of clean single use napkins in dining area opposite the host station.”

New China Buffet

2939 North 24th Street

“Cooked white rice in a rice cooker was stored directly in a plastic, single-service, non-food grade grocery store bag while hot holding.”


“Sushi made with cooked white rice and imitation crab meat had an internal temperature of 48*F. The sushi had been stored on the top of a cold holding table, and the PIC stated the food had been brought to the table approximately 2.5 hours prior. All cold holding foods MUST be held at or below 41*F.”

PT Noodles

2632 South 83rd Avenue, #112

“Food debris observed in handwashing sink near freezer. Do not use handwashing sink for other purposes than handwashing.”

“Live roach found inside storage drawer next to register. Cockroach legs seen between sink and ice machine. Contact certified pest control company prior to reinspection.”

La Sabrosa

701 East Mohave Street

“Observed an employee touch raw chicken with gloved hands and then immediately touch several ready to eat tortillas with the same gloved hands without washing their hands between.”


“Several single-use grocery store style-thank you bags were being used to store raw beef and raw chicken, with the raw foods in direct contact with the inside surface of the bags. These bags are not food safe and MAY NOT be used in direct contact with food, as chemicals and dyes in the bag may contaminate food. The PIC removed the meat from the bags.”

Happy Food Restaurant

3 West Baseline Road

“Observed a line cook wash hands in the 3 compartment sink without soap after handling raw animal protein in batter. The cook then proceeded to open the walk in cooler.”

“Observed large, covered plastic containers of white and fried rice with internal temperature of 110*F and 125*F, respectively. Per PIC, the containers were being stored at room temperature and would be moved to the rice steamer when the current batch was finished. Per PIC rice had been sitting at room temperature for approximately 1 hour. The owner had the rice placed back into the steamer and warmed back to 165*F at the time of inspection.”

Firehouse Subs

20165 North 67th Avenue, #122-B, Glendale

“Observed 2 employees wipe gloved hands on visibly soiled aprons then touch sandwiches that went out to customers. When brought to attention, PIC had employees discard gloves and wash hands.”

“Observed food containers in sanitizer compartment of 3-comp sink in solution of less than 150 ppm quat. Per PIC, it was filled and initially used at 11 am (3 hours prior to inspection). When brought to attention, PIC drained 3-comp sink and filled it up with quat solution from the pre-mix dispenser. Concentration is now 200-400 ppm quat.”

Southern Fried

1638 East Southern Avenue

“Observed no hand drying system available at handwashing sink. The PIC states that they use fabric hand towels. These are stored in the back of the kitchen away from the handwashing sink. Had PIC move towels to the handwashing sink.”

“Observed a gallon of milk in the reach-in refrigerator unit without a date. Per employee the milk was opened two days ago, but did not have tape available to write the date.”

Ralph's Snack Bar No. 819

Mobile Food Unit

“At time of inspection, no hand soap was available at the handwashing sink. PIC got dish soap from underneath cabinet. Hand washing soap must be available at handwashing sink at all times.”

“At time of inspection, the only Refrigerator in the mobile food unit was holding temp at 57*F with numerous TCS foods not at proper cold holding temperature. Refrigerator must hold at 41*F or below.”

Filiberto's Mexican Food

209 North 24th Street

“Several fried beef tacos were held out of temperature control on a metal pan and had internal temperatures of 84*F. The PIC stated these tacos had been cold held, fried, and left on the pan out of temperature control approximately 40 minutes prior. All hot holding foods must be held at or above 135*F.”

“A metal pan of cooked potatoes was cold holding in the top of the prep line fridge and had internal temperatures between 45-56*F. The PIC stated these potatoes had been moved from the walk-in fridge approximately 1 hour prior. All other foods in the prep fridge were in temperature. All cold holding foods must be held at or below 41*F.”
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Lauren Cusimano was the Phoenix New Times food editor from 2018 to 2021. Joys include eating wings, riding bikes, knowing everyone at the bar, talking too much about The Simpsons, and falling asleep while reading.