Dirty Dining: America's Mart kitchen
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- We've talked about cockroaches. We've talked about moldy food, but wait until you see what inspectors found in the kitchen of this week's Dirty Dining establishment.
A wooden cutting board in disrepair is pretty common on Dirty Dining.
But America's Mart kitchen should get a "creativity award" for what they used as a substitute.
Unfortunately for them, health inspectors don't award points for creativity.
Inspectors found something on a baker's rack that we at Action News have never seen in a kitchen in all of our years reporting on Dirty Dining.
It was part of a tree stump that inspectors say was being used as a cutting board.
We certainly can't prove where it came from, but coincidentally, there used to be a tree right outside the front door and now there isn't.
America's Mart is a gas station convenience store on Eastern Avenue near Pebble Road.
Their kitchen was closed with 43 demerits.
Contact 13 Chief Investigator Darcy Spears spoke with Head Cashier Jesus Torres.
Darcy Spears: Jesus, does a tree stump belong in a kitchen?
Jesus: Of course not, no.
He says the owner rented the kitchen out to someone else.
"We didn't know that this person didn't have a license. We didn't know that they didn't have health cards."
Inspectors say the person in charge wasn't up to speed on safe food handling, and was using a health card that expired in 2008.
The America's Mart kitchen is dark now and the pots are cold because inspectors shut the place down before it could even open.
As it was preparing to open, inspectors found an employee cutting food without washing their hands.
One piece of equipment was red-tagged because it wasn't holding a safe temperature.
And cooked beans had been prepared at someones home.
"She said it was gonna be for their own consumption but then when the inspector asked her, supposedly it was gonna be for sale," Jesus explains. "But they didn't sell anything to anybody."
Inspectors also found expired food including burritos and hot pockets.
And there was an unidentifiable brown substance in a plastic bag next to the onions.
Darcy: "What happened with the stuff that was basically going bad?"
Jesus: "All that was thrown out. Everything was thrown out. There's no food at all in there anymore."
Inspectors found obvious signs of water damage in the kitchen. At least six ceiling tiles were stained brown, which means it's possible there's mold up there.
And in addition to the tree stump, inspectors found something else that doesn't belong in a commercial kitchen: a child. As the report says, children must be separated from food service.
Jesus says the people who rented the kitchen haven't been back since the shut down.
Darcy: "They got a bad inspection and then they kind of disappeared?"
Jesus: "Yeah. Yes. So I don't know where they are."
Before anything can happen in the America's Mart kitchen, they'll have to attend a supervisory conference at the Health District. But they're ready for it. The kitchen was re-inspected Monday and is back up to a one-demerit "A" grade.