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Dirty Dining spans the spectrum from taco trucks to The Palm restaurant lounge

Plus, how the Health District's grade system works
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Posted at 6:40 PM, Sep 29, 2021

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Food trucks have had a rough go lately when it comes to health inspections.

In this week's Dirty Dining report, Best Mobile Food Service’s #3 truck tops the demerit list.

It was shut down at Grand Canyon Dr. and Serene Ave. for failing re-inspection from a previous downgrade.

It got 28 demerits on its Sept. 16 inspection due to "multiple repeated critical and major violations," including unsafe food temperatures and cooking under a broken ventilation hood that was previously red-tagged by the Health District.

A dirty, dry wiping cloth sat on a cutting board and the pass-through window was propped open, allowing possible entry for pests.

The food truck operator has a documented history of non-compliant inspections and must now undergo increased inspection frequency and scrutiny in the Health District's administrative process.

We left a voicemail message and sent a text to the owner but received no response.

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Maria’s Taco Shop on Highway 160 at Mountain Springs Saloon also failed re-inspection on Sept. 17 with 22 demerits.

It was trying to recover from a 39-demerit “C” grade on its Aug. 18 inspection but was shut down for repeat violations for food temperatures, too little sanitizer, dirty wiping cloths on prep counters and undated food.

Owner Beatriz Gonzalez did not respond to our requests for comment.

The restaurant was re-inspected again on Sept. 20 and received a zero-demerit "A" grade.

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Pupuseria Los Portillos food trailer was shut down on Sept. 16 on Lake Mead Blvd. near Civic Center Dr. for the imminent health hazard of inadequate refrigeration.

It also got 22 demerits.

There were problems with hot water and food in the temperature danger zone.

The only refrigerator was at nearly 60 degrees.

The trailer was re-inspected on Sept. 20 and received a zero-demerit "A" grade.

Owner Andres Delgado Herrera said, “We have bought a new refrigerator and this incident will never occur again.”

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The lounge at The Palm restaurant inside Caesars Palace on the strip was shut down on Sept. 15 for no hot water.

Blue cheese-stuffed olives had to be thrown out due to unsafe temperatures and they had to burn a bin of ice for customer drinks after inspectors found a wine bottle stored in it.

There was also a lot of accumulated dirt and debris on floors under equipment.

General Manager Michael Martin did not return our call for comment.

The Palm restaurant’s lounge was re-inspected on Sept.16 and received a zero-demerit "A" grade.

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We thought it might be time for a food safety tutorial so here’s some key information to help you understand requirements placed on restaurants and food trucks.

Operational Restrictions for food trucks/trailers:

(A) Except when operating at a special event, a MOBILE UNIT shall not operate from any single location for more than half an hour.

(B) A MOBILE UNIT may not operate later than 7:00 p.m. or half an hour after sunset, whichever occurs first unless they are at a special event.

(C) A MOBILE UNIT may not sell products on a street where the posted speed limit is above 25 mph.

(D) A MOBILE UNIT may not operate within 250 ft. of another vendor.

(E) A MOBILE UNIT may not operate within 1,000 ft. of a school less than one hour after the school’s dismissal time.

(F) A MOBILE UNIT may not play music when parked.

Also, mobile units are required to notify SNHD when and where they intend to operate.

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Here’s how the Health District’s grading system works.

0 – 15 demerits = A grade

11 – 20 demerits = B grade: (Re-inspection after 15 business days, or sooner if requested. Inspection must result in 10 demerits or less, with no identical repeat critical or major violations. Failure on re-inspection will result in a “C” grade with the associated fee and may require a supervisory conference.)

21 – 40 demerits = C grade: (Re-inspection after 15 business days, or sooner if requested. Inspection must result in 10 demerits or less, with no identical repeat critical or major violations. Failure on re-inspection will result in a closure of the facility with the associated fee and may require a supervisory conference.)

41 demerits or more = closure for excessive demerits

Imminent Health Hazards that require restaurants/mobile vendors to notify SNHD and cease operations as directed:

  • Interruption of electrical service
  • No potable water or hot water
  • Gross unsanitary occurrences or conditions including pest infestation
  • Sewage or liquid waste not disposed of in an approved manner
  • Lack of adequate refrigeration
  • Lack of adequate employee toilets and handwashing facilities
  • Misuse of poisonous or toxic materials
  • Suspected foodborne illness outbreak
  • Emergency such as fire and/or flood
  • Other conditions or circumstances that may endanger public health

Click here to see the health report for Palm Restaurant Lounge.

Click here to see the health report for Best Mobile Food Service #3.

Click here to see the health report for Maria's Taco Shop.

Click here to see the health report for Pupuseria Los Portillos.