Nico's Mexican Food at 4231 W. Ina Road was the only local restaurant to fail a health inspection in April. After failing an April 24 inspection, the restaurant passed a follow-up inspection May 4. The location also failed inspections Feb. 6 and Feb. 15 before passing a follow-up inspection Feb. 24.

"They will be inspected on a more frequent basis," said Jeff Terrell, Pima County Consumer Health and Food Safety program manager, via email. "And if the pattern continues, they will be placed on a intervention program."

West-side Mexican restaurant Las Cazuelitas de Tucson (2011) and midtown Chinese restaurant Gee's Garden (2007) are the only Pima County restaurants believed to have been placed on intervention programs since the Arizona Food Code was revised in 2002. The interventions are the final step before the county closes a restaurant.

Restaurants are inspected twice a year and given provisional licenses if they fail; when that happens, they are reinspected about every 10 days until they pass and are inspected again about 60 days afterward, Pima County officials say.

• Turn to Page D8 for all the details.

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Restaurant health inspections


4231 W. Ina Road

Failed an inspection April 24. Passed a follow-up inspection May 4. Management declined comment, noting that the restaurant passed its most recent follow-up inspection.

Critical violations:

• Cooked red chili was held in a refrigerator at 49 degrees. It should have been 41 degrees or less.

• Cooked beans were held in a walk-in refrigerator at 46 degrees. They should have been held at 41 degrees or less.

• Two open coffee cups were stored above open food. The drinks should have been covered and placed elsewhere.

• In a reach-in refrigerator, pooled eggs were stored above an open container of ready-to-eat ham. The foods should have been separated.

• Utensils and containers were dirty but stored as clean. They should have been clean to the sight and touch.

• An employee washed and rinsed dishes without sanitizing them.

• Several refrigerated foods were not labeled with required discard dates. The restaurant suffered two critical violations for the problem.

• The sanitizer sink drained directly into the grease trap. It should have drained into a floor sink with an air gap separating the two.

Contact reporter Phil Villarreal at 573-4130 or