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Rat infestation lands Popeyes on Dirty Dining

Two restaurants and seven food trucks shut down
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Posted at 3:32 PM, Jun 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-01 18:32:26-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — It’s the Nasty Nine on Dirty Dining this week with two restaurants and seven food trucks shut down for imminent health hazards.

We begin with the most notable hazard: Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits at the Terrible Herbst on Maryland Parkway and Tropicana Avenue was shut down due to a rat infestation.

Inspectors were following up on a complaint which said, “Rat infestation at facility. Rats crawling across counter, up on the walls and floors.”

When inspectors arrived, they saw rat droppings on a ledge behind the dry storage and multiple snap traps and sticky traps throughout the kitchen.

Inspectors noted an excessive amount of rat droppings on the back wall and floors underneath dry storage racks.

Floors and food prep areas were heavily soiled with old food.

There was also pooled water on kitchen floors.

The person in charge told inspectors “he and other employees have seen rodents in the dry storage area once or twice a week” and that their pest control service had caught a rodent on the roof.

General Manager Davilan Lyles did not return our call requesting comment.

Popeyes was re-inspected on May 19 and received a zero-demerit "A" grade.

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Fogo de Chão Churrascaria at the Howard Hughes Center on Flamingo Rd. and Paradise Rd. was shut down May 16 for no hot water.

Inspectors went to the restaurant after receiving a complaint that the facility was still operating despite that imminent health hazard.

No one could properly wash their hands in either the kitchen or restrooms.

There were also multiple flies throughout the facility.

Fogo de Chão was re-inspected on May 17 and received a zero-demerit "A" grade.

A spokesperson for the restaurant sent the following statement:

“The safety of our guests and team members is our top priority, and we maintain rigorous standards for food preparation and sanitation inside our kitchens. Upon learning of an issue with the hot water heater at this location, we immediately took action to correct the issue. We temporarily closed the restaurant in order to replace the hot water heater and reopened for dinner service the next day.”

********************

Carefree Catering is a multiple-time repeat offender on Dirty Dining.

Its #26 truck was shut down May 17 on W. Skye Canyon Park Dr. for interrupted electrical service.

Sliced tomatoes, pico de gallo, cheese, chicken, cooked rice and deli meat all had to be thrown out due to unsafe temperatures.

Cooked rice was stored in a plastic grocery bag in the fridge.

Owner Marisol Purdy did not respond to our voicemail or text requesting comment.

The truck was re-inspected on May 18 and received a zero-demerit "A" grade.

********************

Tacos Karina, which also operates Karina’s Hot Dog, is also a Dirty Dining repeat offender.

The taco trailer on Eastern Avenue near Washington Avenue was shut down May 19 for inadequate refrigeration.

It also got 28 demerits.

Inspectors found rotten lettuce in the refrigerator.

Food in the temperature danger zone included salsas, cut lettuce and raw beef. All of it was thrown out.

Tortilla dough was subject to contamination by chlorine sanitizer as both were being prepared in the same 3-compartment sink.

The back window and side door were open without screens during active food prep.

The trailer was back to a zero-demerit “A” grade on May 25.

The hot dog cart was also shut down for its own imminent health hazard: improper disposal of liquid waste. The wastewater tank was leaking excessively onto the ground and water from the hand sink came out brown.

When we called Owner Juan Herrera for comment, he said he was "Too busy to talk.”

********************

Food truck Spindle Me Sweets Boba and Treats was shut down May 22 for inadequate refrigeration as all the refrigerators on the truck were inoperable.

It also got 38 demerits.

Wastewater was leaking onto the asphalt where the truck was parked.

Three quarts of milk and a gallon of horchata had to be thrown out due to unsafe temperatures.

A bulk bag of boba pearls sat open in a cabinet.

The ice machine was dirty.

Counters, plastic mats and refrigerators were dirty with old food.

Spindle Me Sweets’ owner sent the following statement:

"I am saddened to hear about your interest in this, but this is my fault and I accept that.

"We are just starting out; this was actually our third time taking the truck out. We were out for about 45 minutes before we got closed that day. The primary reason we got closed down was due to the fact that we were in one spot for longer than 30 minutes. SNHD requires a waiver to stay in one spot longer than 30 minutes. I spoke to the health department about that 2 days prior and was trying to work with the park system to get the waiver but we did not wait until the waiver was completed.

"The secondary reason we were closed was due to not having a fridge at the proper temperature. We have two refrigeration units and one freezer on board. We bought this truck used and have come to find that we have very little use for refrigeration, so we have disconnected one fridge and one freezer. The other fridge does work but as I said, we just started about 45 minutes prior and the fridge did not make it down to temp yet as we were not running the fridge prior to opening. The only item we had that required refrigeration was the cream but that is allowed to be out for 4 hours. Our plan was to only open one container at a time and leave it out for 2 hours before discarding it and grabbing a new one to ensure the best quality. For this occasion, we only brought the one cream because we did not plan on being out for long.

"As for the other demerits we received

- our paper towel dispenser was empty. We had paper towels on board and replaced them as the inspector was on board

- leak under the truck. Turns out we had a gas leak on our generator. We got that fixed as soon as the truck left the park

- we left an ice scoop in a chest of ice

- we had the driver's window down. We did not know that it was not allowed as we have a door separating our kitchen from the cab.

- Our water temperature was not hot enough. We did not check this prior as we have very few dishes and wash them at the commissary.

"Everything has been fixed and we will have our re-inspection soon. We have definitely learned a few things. As a brand new business, we are always looking at ways to improve, so other than the embarrassment and a hefty fine, we are glad to have had this inspection so we can make improvements.

"Spindle Me Sweets Boba and Treats is a family business. All of the kids animated on the truck are my children. I actually stated this in hopes of being able to offer my oldest daughter a job and one day her own business. Our truck is simple, no grills, no fryers, just drinks and snacks."

********************

Food trailer Dot’s Southern Cuisine was shut down May 19 on W. Charleston Blvd. and Jones Blvd. for improper disposal of liquid waste.

Owner Reginald Anderson said his cook had a misunderstanding with health inspectors leading to an incomplete inspection.

He acknowledged they had a cracked drain line that was leaking dirty water and said, “We know they’re here to do their job and protect the city. We don’t dispute the cracked line and it’s now fixed.”

********************

Tacos Y Tortas Juaritos food trailer was shut down May 19 for improper disposal of liquid waste.

It also got 24 demerits.

Inspectors say the asphalt around the trailer was stained with wastewater and grease. There was a boot on the truck’s tire, which is evidence that it wasn’t being taken to the commissary regularly for the waste tank to be dumped and re-filled.

An employee was cutting ready-to-eat limes with bare hands.

Grease dripping from the hood onto cooking equipment posed a food contamination threat.

Pre-cooked hot dogs were stored in the same container as raw beef patties.

An unused deep fryer, plastic wrap on the side of refrigerator, and the back wall inside the fridge were all heavily soiled with grease and old food.

Owner Catalina Mata said she had no comment.

Tacos Y Tortas Juaritos was back to a 3-demerit “A” grade on May 25.

********************

Birria Los Rojos 702 food truck was shut down May 17 on Lake Mead and Webster for failing re-inspection due to repeat violations and the imminent health hazard of inadequate refrigeration.

Inspectors wrote up a repeat violation for food in the temperature danger zone including cooked salsas, cheese, marinated meat and beans.

The operator had removed the red tag from the make table that was placed there during the previous inspection.

They were also not displaying the “C” grade card from their April 19 inspection. In fact, it was nowhere to be found on the truck.

Birria Los Rojos 702 has a documented history of non-compliant inspections.

Manager Geronimo Alba did not return our call for comment.

The truck was re-inspected on May 19 and received a three-demerit "A" grade.

Click here to see complaint for Popeyes Chicken #10347.

Click here to see health report for Popeyes Chicken #10347.

Click here to see complaint for Fogo de Chao Churrascaria.

Click here to see health report for Fogo de Chao Churrascaria.

Click here to see health report for Spindle Me Sweets Boba & Treats.

Click here to see health report for Tacos Karina portable unit.

Click here to see health report for Karina's Hot Dog.

Click here to see health report for Tacos y Tortas Juaritos.

Click here to see health report for Dot's Southern Cuisine.

Click here to see health report for Carefree Catering #26.

Click here to see health report for Birrieria Los Rojos 702.