Double dose of Dirty Dining
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Health inspectors doubled down for this week's Dirty Dining with two restaurants tying for the top spot.
And as Contact 13 Chief Investigator Darcy Spears reports, both barely dodged being shut down.
The first place is a family-friendly restaurant that's famous for heaping helpings with locations across the valley.
But the Green Valley spot is what has Claim Jumper in hot water with the Health District.
A 40-demerit "C" grade put them one shy of closure on August 17th, when the words of the day were "soiled" and "spoiled."
Inspectors found spoiled, foul-smelling raw chicken in the prep kitchen and expired milk, demi glaze, onion rings and black bean chili.
All of that had to be thrown out, as did contaminated shrimp that was thawing in a dirty sink.
Moving from spoiled to soiled, inspectors saw employees handling food with soiled gloves.
And they say the large mixer, cutting board, can opener and bulk bins were dirty.
They added "slimy" and "smelly" to describe the warewashing area and equipment.
Speaking of slimy, there was mold in the ice machine and in several handsinks.
Inspectors also found dead flies on the gasket.
Pasta, ribs and chicken were improperly cooled.
And eggs, sweet potatoes and garlic bread were out of the safe temperature zone.
When we went to ask about all that, we couldn't even get near the door.
A regional manager was sent out to head us off at the pass.
Darcy Spears: We're featuring you guys on Dirty Dining this week for the 40-demerit "C" grade so we're here to see if you guys have cleaned up and want to show us around.
Jeffrey Miller: You know, all this has to be directed through our corporate office.
Which is in Houston, Texas. They sent a written statement saying, "We take any health violation very seriously and we deem even a "B" rating as unacceptable. We strive to operate at an "A" level only. All violations were immediately resolved and the restaurant is back to an "A" rating."
The second restaurant we visited was surrounded by music and tourists in the Hawaiian Marketplace on the Strip.
Kapit Bahay Filipino Fast Food was much more welcoming than the folks at Claim Jumper.
Darcy: We just need to ask a few questions about this health report where you guys got 40 demerits and a "C" grade, because you're on Dirty Dining this week.
Maribel Mabasa says she wasn't the person in charge on the day of the health inspection, but offered to show us how things have changed since then.
Darcy: A lot of the buffet food, like chicken beef and pork were at unsafe temperatures.
Maribel: Oh, yeah.
Darcy: Is that something you guys have fixed or does that continue to be a problem.
Maribel: Yeah, it's fixed already.
Just like at Claim Jumper, inspectors found mold in the ice machine here.
They also found a can opener blade soiled with dried food.
Darcy: There was a lot of food in the walk-in that was uncovered and exposed to contamination.
Maribel: Yeah, but it's covered.
Darcy: It's covered now?
Well, not all of it was. So they've still got work to do with that and with the dates on their food.
Inspectors found beef, cooked eggs and cooked pork without date labels so they couldn't verify how old the food was. That hadn't changed when we checked.
Maribel: He didn't put the date yet.
Darcy: Not yet. So if the health inspector was here right now, there'd be another demerit for that.
Maribel: We will put the date.
We also found them still using the same melted, warped rice cooker inspectors wrote them up for.
Darcy: That's not good. They didn't like that. What's going on with the rice cooker?
Maribel: I don't know.
Inspectors were also troubled by the restaurant using handsinks for storage, right above the "For Handwashing Only" sign.
They also found dirty wiping cloths left on prep counters near food; sticky, dirty doors and door handles; and a soiled, grease-stained piece of cardboard being used to catch spills in front of the cookline.
Darcy: Has it been hard for you guys to have a "C" grade?
Maribel: Oh yeah! I'm ashamed for the letter C.
Kapit Bahay is still displaying that "C" because they have not been re-inspected.
We confirmed that Claim Jumper is back to a 2-demerit "A" grade.