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.
1212 East Apache Boulevard, #1, Tempe
“Observed employee wash hands without using soap. I also observed employee wash hands for 6 to 7 seconds.”
“Observed deli slicer with dried food debris on blade and handle. Person in charge stated that the dried food debris was cheese and that the slicer hadn’t been used that day.”
“Observe raw shelled eggs in dry storage area on shelf located above packaged ready to foods. Per person in charge, eggs were for personal use.”
Coco’s No 257
2026 North Seventh Street
“Observed an employee touch a ready to eat burger bun and the ready to eat lettuce and pickle topping on the bun with their bare hands.”
“A large bottle of acetaminophen was stored on a shelf directly above the soda dispenser and food contact surfaces.”
4426 South Central Avenue
“Observed employee wearing gloves come from inside the establishment to outdoor cooking grill, wearing the same gloves then grab tongs to start turning the chicken on grill.”
“Observed a refrigerator unit by the cash register containing a variety of packaged cooked tomato salsas, and guacamole, in containers of ice. Unit was turned off because it was not working and establishment was utilizing ice to cold hold. All cooling capacities shall be properly functioning to maintain cold holding temperatures of 41*F degrees Fahrenheit or below.”
El Gran Taquito Mexican Grill
5130 West Baseline Road, #109, Laveen
“Observed the line cook grab tacos from the prep table which were dropped to the floor and picked up with a gloved hand. The cook discarded the dropped tacos, however the same gloves were used to obtain new tacos from the prep table which were then placed in the fryer to be reheated.”
3003 North Central Avenue, #118
“Observed an employee touch raw ground beef with their gloved hands. The employee then immediately touched the food contact surface of a metal pizza pan with their same gloved hands and attempted to put a ready to eat pizza onto the contaminated surface of the pan before being stopped by the inspector.”
“The PIC stated the “Two eggs any style” and the “Eggs benedict” menu items on the establishment’s breakfast menu screens can be ordered with undercooked eggs. These items are not accompanied by an asterisk or other indicator mark to inform the customers that the consumer advisory applies to those items.”
Sahuaro’s Taco Shop
2828 South Country Club Drive, #8, Mesa
“Observed raw chicken above raw shell eggs. Had PIC move chicken to walk-in.
“Observed carne asada meat holding at 97*F in hot holding unit. Per PIC they cooked meat on grill and cool enough to cut it, then placed in hot holding unit one hour prior.”
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