Dirty Dining: Du-par's on Fremont Street
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- The kitchen at a casino restaurant was recently forced to close because of numerous violations, including the mishandling of food.
According to the Southern Nevada Health District, employees were spotted using their bare hands to touch bacon, muffins, hash browns and more during a recent visit to Du-pars, a restaurant and bakery inside the Gold Gate hotel and casino on Fremont Street.
Inspectors splapped Du-par's kitchen with 62 demertis, shutting it down. Any establishment receiving more than 40 demerits is automatically closed.
Food handling was one of the repeated violations: an employee was cited for cracking eggs, and then not washing their hands before handling ready to eat foods.
The report says even "after being instructed to wash hands," the employee failed to follow directions.
An employee was also seen touching raw beef and then a bun. Raw bacon was handled by someone who didn't wash their hands and continued to touch other food. And some employees who did wash their hands were seen using a prep sink instead of the hand sink and didn't even use soap.
Inspectors also found expired cottage cheese. And many foods were not at proper temperatures, including raw eggs, ground meat, cooked potatoes, prime rib, and cut lettuce.
Some equipment was also in need of repairs: a hand sink was leaking and a vent above the cook's line was covered with cardboard. And then there were storage issues: like raw chicken over ready to eat food, and raw beef stored next to cooked uncovered beef.
Contact 13 was not allowed onto casino property, but Biff Naylor, president and principal owner of Du-par's issued a statement.
"Du-par’s whole philosophy on food is fresh, house-made menu items, which requires a lot of preparation, and we operate out of a small, old-fashioned kitchen. Recently, as Golden Gate’s deli was closed to make way for renovations, the property had re-directed the deli’s business to the diner, putting additional stress on the kitchen. On the day of the inspection, we were particularly busy, which led to this incident. Du-par's immediately corrected all issues and the restaurant re-opened with an "A" the next morning.
We have a good track record and have taken this very seriously. We are proud of our fresh, traditional food and were devastated by what happened. We are re-organizing both management structure and systems to deal with the extraordinary business volumes and ensure this type of situation doesn’t occur again."
The Southern Nevada Health District confirms Du-par's kitchen was inspected the very next day and is now operating with a 10 demerit A grade.