Dirty Dining: Laos Asia Market
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- It's a place that serves sour chili and pork blood, but a lot of what they serve had to be thrown in the garbage after a visit from health inspectors.
Contact 13 Chief Investigator Darcy Spears has the details in tonight's Dirty Dining report.
Erick Malaythong told us what many Asian restaurant owners claim is an ongoing problem... How cultural differences affect sanitation standards.
Erick: Asian cooking is so different from everything else, so I honestly don't know.
Darcy: You don't know why all the violations? Do you disagree with what they wrote you up for?
Erick: Yes and no. For some stuff, I understand, but other stuff, no, I don't.
Laos Asia Market on East Desert Inn and McLeod got a 39-demerit "C" grade, narrowly avoiding closure.
Some stuff inspectors cited them for was a no-brainer -- like expired half 'n' half.
"That one was just our fault," Erick admitted. "We didn't catch it. You know... that was our fault."
But other things don't make sense to the family who runs this market. Like why inspectors say they can't cover unwashed lettuce with a table cloth.
Darcy: They also had some problems with the way stuff was covered in the fridge.
Erick: Yeah, we put everything in a plastic bag, which apparently was not approved as being the original container. And that I'm not quite sure exactly why it was. So I thought, a plastic bag is a plastic bag, isn't it?
Inspectors also wrote up multiple hand-washing violations.
"Apparently one of my workers, they didn't realize you have to wash your hands every single time before you put gloves on and afterwards."
Inspectors found a dirty, taped cover touching food in the fridge and causing contamination. And a whole bunch of potentially hazardous food had to be thrown out after inspectors found it at unsafe temperatures.
"It was because our machine was broken that day and we couldn't get it fixed in time. Because only half the equipment was working."
The casualties included bamboo salad, crab, cooked vegetables, cut tomatoes, crab paste, beef tripe soup and meat soup.
Darcy: Were you planning on serving that food?
Erick: No, we weren't.
Inspectors didn't like the fact that sour chili was stored in pork blood containers.
Or that sticky rice for consumers was in the "employee use only" rice cooker.
Also, the back door was left open and the fly fan was off.
Darcy: Of course they have a concern about things flying in.
Erick: Yeah, that one, I don't know why the door was propped open and our fan, it was just malfunctioning too.
He says their air conditioning is also out and the customer rice cooker is broken too.
When we ask to see the kitchen, Erick says, "We have a shipment that came in earlier so we don't want to show everything off yet because we kinda still gotta clean up right now."
He disappears for awhile and when they've got things tidy enough to feel comfortable bringing us back, we see that things in the fridge are properly stored and it seems they're just about ready for re-inspection.
Laos Asia Market says they've scheduled their re-inspection for this Friday.