Restaurant News

The April 2020 D-List: It's the Shortest One Ever

It’s not very long, but there’s still rice in a trash bag and chili fails.
It’s not very long, but there’s still rice in a trash bag and chili fails. Nheyob/Wikipedia
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.

Colados Coffee

10685 West Indian School Road, Suite G, Avondale

"Observed employee scrub blender top with sponge, rinse blender top, and swipe it across the sanitizer water before placing it on clean section to dry. When brought to attention, employee dropped the blender top in the quat sanitizer water fully submerging it for at least 30 seconds."

"Observed ambient air temperature of prep cooler at 54 degrees F holding various TCS items listed in cold holding violation."

Pho Laveen

3424 West Southern Avenue, #180

"Observed cooked chicken, raw marinated chicken, tendon, tripe, sliced pork, and pork pate in prep-style refrigerator across from grill in the kitchen measuring 46 - 49 degrees F."

"Observed dry rice being stored in large plastic container which is designated for trash use."

"Observed RPZ backflow device near soft drink station in dining room area leaking profusely."


2056 South Ellsworth Road, Mesa

"Observed several packaged taco salads and southwestern buffalo salad in improper cold holding temperatures inside small and packed reach in refrigerator next to drive thru window. Internal temperatures were between 45*F-60*F."

"Observed chili in reheat chili area. Time on the chili start was at 10:30am-12:30pm written on lid. Internal temperature of reheated chili at center was at 138*F-162*F at 12:40pm."


10714 East Southern Avenue, Mesa
"Observed Person In Charge(PIC) wash hands for 3-5 seconds at main counter hand washing station."

"Observed multiple handwashing violations in the establishment. Observed grill line cook contaminate hands with grill station spatulas and red raw meat spatula. Grill line cook touched door handle of cold holding unit; grabbed bag of chicken nuggets by the top and side and handed to co-worker on the fry station. Fry station employee touched the bag in the same contaminated areas that grill employee had touched."
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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.