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Double whammy of rats, roaches shuts down a Dairy Queen on Dirty Dining

Plus, excessive demerits at El Taco food truck
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Posted at 8:15 PM, Sep 15, 2021

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Roaches and rodents infesting the Dairy Queen at the Galleria Mall on Sunset Road in Henderson led to a shutdown on Sept. 1.

The discovery of the two-fold infestation came as inspectors validated a complaint.

A customer wrote: “On Monday, Aug. 30 at approximately 6:00 p.m. I was waiting for my ice cream order to be prepared when I observed a cockroach crawl up the wall from behind machinery. I then looked over the counter at the floor, and in between the equipment I saw what appeared to be rodent droppings. In addition, the containers of food/ice cream toppings stored in the small cooler/refrigerator did not all have lids and were just open and without labels.”

Inspectors saw multiple multi-generational cockroaches and rodent feces at Dairy Queen but didn’t find any live rodents.

Roaches were near a non-operating soft-serve machine. Rodent droppings were inside that same machine, in the back prep area, under shelves in dry storage, on top of the ice machine and on a prep table.

Inspectors found holes in walls, old food splattered on floors and walls, water pooling next to the ice machine and broken tiles.

Other violations included a container of moldy tomatoes, two containers of spoiled salad mix and pink mold in the ice machine.

Hot dogs, chicken tenders, milk, cheese and eight containers of soft-serve had to be thrown out due to unsafe temperatures.

Scoop handles were touching sprinkles and drink powders.

Dairy Queen was re-inspected on Sept. 3 and received a zero-demerit "A" grade.

The person in charge provided the following statement:

“The Galleria mall is really old, and rodents are infesting other places in the mall. We’re not the only ones. We just got caught. We found the rats and roaches and killed them and everything’s clean now. I just took over two months ago and am working to clean up past problems. We apologize to our customers and will maintain our high standard of cleanliness.”

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El Taco food truck was shut down on Aug. 31 at the Battle Bots event on Flamingo Road and Koval Lane with 44 demerits and two imminent health hazards: gross, unsanitary conditions and inadequate refrigeration.

A food handler left the truck to do something, then came back and prepared food without washing hands.

Water condensation from the air conditioning unit was leaking onto refried beans in the steam table and onto cutting boards.

Raw beef, raw pork, salsas, cheese, sausages, cooked vegetables, and cooked beef all had to be thrown out due to unsafe temperatures.

Raw meat sat in the three-compartment sink while a food handler washed utensils.

Numerous employee beverages were stored on food in the freezer.

Floors were excessively dirty and the in-use cutting board was damaged and stained.

Also, the person in charge was not managing risk factors to prevent food-borne illness.

We left messages for Co-Owner Mariela Trujillo requesting comment, but our calls were not returned.

El Taco was re-inspected on Sept. 2 and received a zero-demerit "A" grade.

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Pioneer Saloon Ghost Town Café/Gil’s Ice Cream on Spring Street in Goodsprings is undergoing a change in ownership, but it has a lot to fix before new health permits can be approved.

After an Aug. 31 inspection, the Health District left Managing Member Stephen Staats with a three-page list of deficiencies.

At the Ghost Town Café/Gil’s Ice Cream, they were ordered to repair holes in walls, damaged floors and gaps in doors.

Inspectors found excessive flies in the facility and stained cutting boards as well.

The food trailer outside was leaking wastewater onto the ground as the tank was overflowing and bulging.

In the saloon bar, the ice machine was moldy.

Staats told 13 Investigates the new owners took over as of last week.

He said, “We’ve promised the County we will have new bathrooms and eventually a new kitchen. We corrected the wastewater issue from the truck already. For now, we’ve switched to a picnic vibe with our outdoor grill. Our plans for the café include converting it back to its roots: a malt shop and general store with some unique items and a ghost town theme. We’re still awaiting another inspection for our BBQ permit. And we’re hiring!”

Staats asked anyone interested in working there to reach out and apply.

Click here to see the health report for El Taco.

Click here to see the complaint for Dairy Queen.

Click here to see the health report for Dairy Queen.

Click here to see the health report for Pioneer Saloon.