5 Tucson restaurants fail health inspections, then pass

2014-05-18T00:00:00Z 2014-05-19T10:51:00Z 5 Tucson restaurants fail health inspections, then passBy Becky Pallack and Carli Brosseau Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Five local eateries failed health inspections in April but passed follow-up inspections. Here’s what you need to know:

The Cheesecake Factory

60 W. Wetmore Road

  • History: “Excellent” and “good” ratings since it opened in 2010.
  • What the inspector saw: Seven critical violations on April 21. The most serious were dirty cooking tools, a worker who didn’t wash his hands after handling his phone, a waitress who didn’t wash her hands after eating, and food kept at the wrong temperatures.
  • Follow-up: Passed May 1.
  • Response: “The Cheesecake Factory takes food safety and sanitation very seriously and is committed to providing a safe dining experience to all of our guests. Our guests can be assured that we took immediate action to correct all deficiencies identified during last month’s inspection and provided additional staff training,” Regional Vice President Joe Phillips said in a written statement.
Kingfisher Bar and Grill

2564 E. Grant Road

  • History: “Excellent” and “good” ratings for the past 10 years.
  • What the inspector saw: The restaurant earned a “needs improvement” rating on April 8 and failed a re-inspection on April 18. The most serious violations involved holding potentially hazardous foods at too high a temperature; and cutting boards and shelving that didn’t meet standards.
  • Follow-up: Passed April 28.
  • Response: Owner James Murphy said the refrigerator that was 4 degrees too warm during the first inspection was fixed and the refrigerator that was a problem during the second inspection was replaced. Other problems also were corrected.
Sir Veza’s

220 W. Wetmore Road

  • History: Previously failed in 2012. “Excellent” and “good” ratings since.
  • What the inspector saw: Ten critical violations on April 1. The most serious were foods kept at the wrong temperatures, no hand-washing sink in the cooking area, a cook who didn’t wash her hands between handling raw meat and ready-to-eat tortillas, and several other hand-washing violations.
  • Follow-up: Failed April 10. Passed April 21.
  • Response: Owner Ray Flores said new sinks were added and that many of the other issues related to chicken kept in portion-control plastic bags. Cooks dumped the chicken from the bags onto the grill without touching the chicken with their gloved hands, but the inspector saw a potential that the bag could leak, Flores said. The chain has stopped using the bags and begun using more utensils such as tongs at each of its locations, though its Speedway location received an “excellent” rating with the plastic-bag practice in May.
Trident Saloon

2033 W. Speedway

  • History: “Excellent” and “good” ratings for the past 10 years.
  • What the inspector saw: The restaurant earned a “needs improvement” rating on March 26 for problems including “excessive flies.” Other violations included a worker who didn’t wash his hands between handling raw meat and putting ready-to-eat food on plates.
  • Follow-up: Failed April 7. Passed April 14.
  • Response: Manager Jason Mechamer said the flies were addressed by closing the door, and the coolers were fixed.
Los Betos

3567 N. Oracle Road

  • History: Rated “needs improvement” in 2012. “Excellent” and “good” ratings since.
  • What the inspector saw: Seven critical violations on April 29. The most serious were a dirty chef’s knife and french-fry cutter and foods kept at the wrong temperatures.
  • Follow-up: Passed May 9.
  • Response: Cashier Jesus Olivares said each of the issues was quickly fixed. “I think it was just misplacement of items and forgetting,” he said.

Compiled by reporters Becky Pallack and Carli Brosseau from Pima County Health Department records. Contact Pallack at bpallack@azstarnet.com or 573-4251. On Twitter @BeckyPallack.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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