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Restaurant Report Card: 13 Valley restaurants failed their health inspections in February 2020

Posted at 9:45 PM, Mar 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-04 00:41:46-05

PHOENIX — On the first Tuesday of every month, ABC15 takes action to share restaurant report cards from around the Valley. In February, 13 restaurants or food establishments failed to receive a "C" or better on their health inspections.

See inspection details from the Maricopa County Public Health Department below (violations taken verbatim from reports). Most violations were corrected at the time the violation was observed, according to the reports.


Renaissance Phoenix Downtown
100 N. 1st Street, Phoenix AZ 85004
Grade: D; see inspection report, here.

Violations: Observed an employee handling cherry tomatoes with their bare hands, and per the employee, these cherry tomatoes would not be cooked before being served; In a reach-in fridge, observed three containers of pickled red onions, two dated from 1/20, and one container dated from 1/26. Per PIC, these red onions are added to a hot brine solution and then cooled. Had PIC discard all three containers for being past the 7 days; In a reach-in fridge, observed an opened package of pepper jack cheese, an opened bottle of cows milk, and an opened bottle of heavy cream, all with no date marks. Per PIC, they had been opened the previous day.

Flamingo Palace
350 E. Bell Road, Phoenix AZ 85022
Grade: D; see inspection report, here.

Violations: Found 3 unlabeled chemical spray bottles throughout establishment, bottles were labeled at time; Small reach-in cooler near fryers measured 48 degrees F with min/max thermometer. PIC placed service call at time and all TCS food items were moved to a working cooler; Ice scoop at servers' station being stored in ice bin with handle in contact with ice; Outdoor mop sink is completely clogged and full, PIC made service call at time; Observed employee dumping used mop water into dirt and bushes behind building due to clogged mop sink. Instructed employee to dump into floor drain or toilet until mop sink is repaired.

Oaxaca Restaurant
2330 W. Bethany Home Road, suite 119, Phoenix AZ 85015
Grade: D; see inspection report, here.

Violations: Observed food service employee cutting cooked beef with bare hands, then place the cooked beef in a holding pan to be used in burritos; Observed food/debris build up on dicing blade and stopper of tomato/onion dicer in kitchen area; Observed packages of dried herbs, which establishment repackages, without any identifying labeling information. Additionally, restaurant purchases and resells breads, some of which do not have a label with the processor's information; Observed food service employee using latex gloves while handling food in kitchen. Advised person in charge (PIC) that latex gloves shall not be used to due to possible customer latex allergies.

Gadzooks Enchiladas and Soup
4031 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix AZ 85018
Grade: D; see inspection report, here.

Violations: An employee beverage was observed without a lid. PIC was advised that all employee beverages must have a lid on to prevent possible contamination; At time of inspection an employee was observed filling a pitcher of water using the handwashing sink. PIC was advised that handwashing sinks are to be used only for handwashing and that water is required to be filled at the prep sink; Large number of fruit flies observed near mop sink area.

Ralph’s Snack Bar No. 815
Mobile Food Unit
Grade: D; see inspection report, here.

Violations: The operator did not demonstrate knowledge regarding food-borne illness safety and symptoms; The followings cooked TCS foods were observed out of hot holding temperature stored inside the steam-table, cooked carne asada 123F, gravy 93F, sausages links 98F, beef patties 108F, cooked rice 118, tomato salsa 106F for less than 2 hours, per operator. Cook reheated to 165F on the griddle for at at least 15 seconds; Observed the following TCS foods out of cold holding temperature stored on the outside compartment of the reach-in refrigerator, raw shelled eggs 76.4F (eggs stored outside), pico de gallo 54F, shredded cheese 55F, cooked bacon 54F, sour cream at 51F. for less than 2 hours.

**Ralph's Snack Bar owns more than 80 food trucks, according to its website. The health inspection reports listed them as "Ralphs Snack Bar" followed by a route number. It did not specify which brand of truck was part of the violation.


Phil's Filling Station Grill
16852 E. Parkview Avenue, Fountain Hills AZ 85268
Grade: D; see inspection report, here.

Violations: In walk in cooler, plastic packaged raw beef, plastic packaged raw chicken, and plastic packaged raw pork all stored together and touching on same sheet pan. Manager re-arranged proteins to separate containers to prevent future cross contamination; In dry storage area, near ice machine, under handwashing sink, hole in wall. Repair wall before next routine inspection; On cook line, stored on top of pizza oven, sausage gravy with an internal temperature of 94*F. Per employee, extra gravy was made for breakfast service, which ended 1.5 hours ago. Unknown time of when gravy was put out for use. Employee discarded sausage gravy.

Mi Amigos
1264 S. Gilbert Road, Mesa AZ 85204
Grade: D; see inspection report, here.

Violations: Observed employee touch paper towel dispenser and eye glasses then proceed to conduct food prep without washing hands; Observed cheese grater being stored away clean but with visible accumulation of dried-on cheese; Observed cooked menudo, house made ranch dressing and broth made in house without date marks and per PIC had been cooked/prepared 1 to 2 days prior; Observed drain flies in dishwashing area and in mop sink area; Observed prep sink leaking heavily.

All Pierogi Kitchen
1245 W. Baseline Road, suite 101, Mesa AZ 85202
Grade: D; see inspection report, here.

Violations: Observed employee food on top shelf of walk-in cooler above customer foods. Person in charge will have cooler organized so employee foods are stored below or away from customer foods to prevent cross contamination; Observed trash can blocking handwashing sink in prep kitchen. Can was moved at the time of inspection; Observe employee wash and rinse tongs then place in sanitizer for only a 2-3 second contact time before removing. Employee returned utensil to sanitizer compartment for 30 seconds at the time of inspection.

Majerle’s Sports Grill No. 2
3095 W. Chandler Blvd., Chandler AZ 85226
Grade: D; see inspection report, here.

Violations: Observed various deli meats (cooked ham, pastrami, etc...) in the walk-in refrigerator and prep refrigerators with a prep date of 2/7 (total of 9 days). These items were embargoed since they were kept past the maximum allowable 7 day period; Most of the food in the prep refrigerator located along cook line (across pizza oven) was observed at temperatures from 43-50 degrees (most of the food products were above 47 degrees); Observed container of raw chicken stored above container of raw shrimp in walk-in refrigerator. The shrimp was moved the shelf above the chicken. Since raw chicken has a higher minimum cooking temperature than raw shrimp, the chicken must be placed on the lower shelf to prevent cross contamination.

Del Taco
1864 S. Country Club Drive, Mesa AZ 85210
Grade: D; see inspection report, here.

Violations: Observed employee dumping sanitizer water out into the hand sink next to the drive through window. Discussed with PIC that hand sinks should only be used to wash hands; Observed a dicer stored clean in the back of the establishment under the prep sink with food debris in between the blades; Observed the following TCS foods under the reach-in with an internal temperature of 53'F: Cheese quesadillas, and taco meat; Observed the grease container outside of the establishment next to the dumpster has an accumulation of grease dripping from the container, and on to the asphalt.

2333 S. Val Vista Drive, Gilbert AZ 85295
Grade: D; see inspection report, here.

Violations: Observed employee running the drive through handling peoples money and debit cards and then making drinks without any handwash; Observed no paper towels at handwashing sink near drive through window. Person in charge got paper towels to handwashing sink at time of inspection; Observed a bottle of Febreze bottle stored on the soda syrup shelf next to and above syrups. Bottle was relocated at time of inspection; Observed employee receive a personal cup from a customer through the window, placing the cut IN the ice machine where the bottom of the cup is touching the ice, filled the cup up with the ice and then returned it back to the customer. 

El Autentico
5609 E. McKellips Road, suite 101, Mesa AZ 85215
Grade: D; see inspection report, here.

Violations: Observed three instances of raw proteins being stored above and/or in front of RTE foods; Observed cooked cilantro rice that was removed from walk-in cooler and left on counter next to grill for more than an hour at 90*F. PIC voluntarily discarded rice at time of inspection; Observed salsa in prep table dated 2/14 (5 days past discard date). PIC discarded at time of inspection.


Fat Tuesday
6751 N. Sunset Blvd., suite E-113, Glendale AZ 85305
Grade: D; see inspection report, here.

Violations: Observed employee touch bottom of handwashing sink in kitchen with gloves on and touch clean plates without a hand wash between actions. When brought to attention, PIC had employee discard gloves and wash hands; Observed employee wash hands in kitchen handwashing sink and dry hands on visibly soiled apron; Observed large chunks cooked beef in back section of hot holding well at 98-102 degrees F. Per kitchen manager, beef was reheated this morning at around 11 am (5 hours prior to inspection). When brought to attention, beef was discarded.