LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — At a time when supply chain disruptions are causing grocery store shelves to sit empty and food prices to rise, it’s a shame to see so much food going into the trash because of improper handling.
What was thrown away at two restaurants could have fed many families, but the food was compromised and unsafe, according to health inspectors.
Add to that a four-time repeat offender restaurant, a five-time repeat offender food truck and a rat infestation and you’ve got the menu for this week’s Dirty Dining.
Fiesta Filipina on Jones Boulevard and Desert Inn Road got a 39-demerit “C” grade on its Oct. 21 inspection, narrowly avoiding shutdown by just two demerits.
Food items at unsafe temperatures that had to be thrown out included a large container of pork slabs cooked the previous day.
Other food items left out at room temperature for multiple hours included crispy pata, pinakbet, garlic in oil, pancit palabok ingredients and caldereta. All of it had to be thrown out as well.
Raw fish was stored above cooked pork knuckle and four gallons of beef blood was stored above lemons.
Multiple containers of food stored uncovered in freezers and coolers and subject to contamination included cooked fish, cooked vegetables and chicken skewers.
A dirty towel and dirty scouring pads were stored on a board that was draining liquid into thawing meat in the sink.
Open employee drinks and a cell phone were stored on a shelf above ready-to-eat food.
Dirty household scissors were being used to cut meat and were stored in a heavily soiled table crevice.
Knives and cutting boards were not being properly washed and sanitized.
Floors below the hotline and the underside of equipment were excessively greasy and dirty with old food.
Chicken was thawing at room temperature.
And the person in charge was not aware of the signs and symptoms of employee illness.
Fiesta Filipina's owner said she agrees with the results of the inspection, saying:
"I admit the violations. We deserve it but it’s painful, and my heart broke when I saw that C because I really strive hard to be the best in our restaurant business. I’m really very sorry. My husband, who I ran the business with, just passed away. I've been depressed, taking time at home to pray and figure out if the restaurant could continue, and while I was out on bereavement leave, my employees did not take care of their jobs. I was devastated when I returned to work. I didn’t expect this. It's very hard to find employees right now. They don’t want to work even for increased wages. I’m 72 years old and getting up at 7:30 a.m., working until closing time at 8 p.m. I know what I have to do and I'm hoping to get reinspected next week."
Ru Yi Noodle House at Hawaiian Marketplace on Las Vegas Boulevard and Harmon Avenue is now a four-time repeat offender on Dirty Dining.
It tied for the highest demerits this week with a 39-demerit “C” grade on its Oct. 21 inspection.
Inspectors documented improper handwashing after employees handled dirty dishes and after they ate.
Two trays of cooked ducks had to be thrown out due to unsafe temperatures.
Pre-cooked chicken was uncovered in the freezer, as was tofu on the make table.
Shaved orange peel used in cooking was touching the outside of a produce bag and a trash can was stored next to a shelf of clean dishes.
An employee’s tamale was stored openly on top of customer food in the make table.
The can opener, deli slicer, cutting boards and some dishes were dirty but stored as clean.
There was no hand soap in the restrooms.
Flies throughout the facility were landing on food.
The cookline was heavily soiled with grease and old food build-up under and on equipment, walls and floors.
Raw beef thawing on the counter was wrapped in thin plastic and dripping blood on the floor.
The rice cooker handles and refrigerator handles, doors and sides were covered with grease and old food.
An unused make table was dirty with old food debris still inside it.
Squeeze bottles, spice container lids and soap dispenser pumps were all dirty and sticky with built-up food and grease.
Produce wasn’t being washed before being cut.
The toilet was broken and covered by a black trash bag, and the restroom was dirty and had a foul smell.
Inspectors wrote, “Due to consecutive failed inspections while being in SNHD's Administrative Process, the facility is required to attend a Supervisory Conference.”
Our call requesting comment was not returned.
Best Mobile Food Service is a five-time Dirty Dining repeat offender.
The latest imminent health hazard closure came on Oct. 20 for a rat infestation on a truck feeding construction workers at Far Hills Ave. and Desert Foothills Drive.
Inspectors found a large number of rodent droppings throughout the facility, on shelving directly above food contact surfaces and next to hamburger buns and tortillas.
Chicken patties, raw bacon and cooked peppers were all at unsafe temperatures and had to be thrown out.
Our calls requesting comments were not returned.
Best Mobile Food Service was re-inspected on Oct. 22 and received a zero-demerit "A" grade.
Vegas King Commissary on Pioneer Avenue and Wynn Road serves as a home base for many valley food trucks.
It was shut down on Oct. 20 for an imminent health hazard—lack of adequate employee toilets and handwashing facilities. The only restroom available was a port-a-potty outside the commissary entrance.
Inspectors found the commissary was closed and inaccessible to food truck operators who need plumbed restrooms with hot and cold running water, sinks to sanitize dishes and wash their hands, and a place to prepare food.
Inspectors also noted lots of pigeons around the excessively dirty grease bin and dumpsters.
Vegas King Commissary was re-inspected Oc. 21 and received an 8-demerit "A" grade.
Our voicemail message requesting a comment was not returned.
Click here to see the health report for Fiesta Filipina.
Click here to see the health report for Ru Yi Noodle House.
Click here to see the health report for Vegas King Commissary.
Click here to see the health report for The Best Mobile Food Service #1.