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Rats infest Yum Cha and Family Dollar on Dirty Dining

Plus, sewage at KFC and more
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Posted at 11:33 PM, Feb 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-20 08:38:09-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Sam Kam, owner of Yum Cha restaurant on Tropicana Avenue and Decatur Boulevard, has a rat problem.

He showed us how they'd get in through a hole in the ceiling and shimmy down a pipe, right into the kitchen.

The dim sum restaurant has gone though numerous owners in the past few years. Sam Kam is the latest and Yum Cha is his first restaurant.

And though this is Yum Cha's first appearance on Dirty Dining, the location is a repeat offender.

Sam says it's an old building and that's part of the problem.

"To be honest with you, in the whole shopping center you see rats," said Kam.

The Health District's Feb. 6 inspection paints the picture of a health and sanitation disaster--rat droppings and urine on liners that cooked dumplings stored in dim sum pots; on food packages, containers and shelves; on prep table shelves where cooking racks are stored and in containers of utensils including rolling pins and tongs.

Inspectors even found rat droppings along a metal door handle on the restaurant's exit door.

Rats were also feasting on the flour, leaving gnaw marks and droppings on the bags.

Inspectors say the rats were attracted by old food on the floor and excessive grease on equipment.

The health report notes that the pest control company was preparing to come out the next day for a "mass trapping."

Sam says every day in the restaurant industry is a learning experience and he opted to stay closed for a few extra days to pull out the heavy kitchen equipment and clean behind it.

There was other cleaning to do too. Inspectors found mold in the ice machine, dirty bulk food bins, dirty walls, and dirty refrigerator doors and freezer floors.

"Actually this is so coincidental," Sam said. "One of the cleaners, he quit a few days before the inspection."

Yum Cha reopened with a three-demerit A grade on Feb. 14 and Sam Kam intends to keep it that way.

"I just say sorry to (our customers) but I'm going to work very hard to make sure there is no more in the future."

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

Switching gears now from Dirty Dining to Gross Grocers at Family Dollar on Twain and Spencer.

When your pest control company tells you you've got roof rats, and you leave a big hole in the ceiling, you might as well roll out the rat red carpet.

It seems Family Dollar did just that. The repeat offender was shut down for a rat infestation last Spring and again on Feb. 7.

Health District pictures show urine and feces on floors near gift wrap and on empty shelves. There were more rat droppings on the sales floor near packaged food.

The inspection says Family Dollar knew about the rats but didn't contact the Health District and failed to self-close.

Health inspectors went to Family Dollar to investigate a complaint from a customer who wrote, "When I opened my ice cream, it looked like vomit... It also smells in there."

Inspectors found a malfunctioning freezer that was being worked on when they arrived.

They also documented lots of cardboard and plastic trash and overflowing dumpsters that were attracting rats.

The mop sink was dirty and foul smelling and trash cans in the break room were overflowing and stinky too.

Family Dollar reopened with a three-demerit A grade on Feb. 12.

The manager said he wasn't allowed to talk to us and referred us to Family Dollar's corporate office. Our email and call to their corporate communications department was not returned.

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

Kentucky Fried Chicken on Eastern and Horizon Ridge did not have rats, but it did have much more than 11 herbs and spices in its kitchen.

Sewage caused KFC to be shut down Feb. 5 after health inspectors found pooled waste-water surrounding the walk-in cooler.

Employees would've had to walk through it to get food.

KFC was back to a zero-demerit A the same day, although the operator told inspectors they're officially closing the store on Feb. 24.

Our call for comment was not returned.

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

Belly Bombz Korean-inspired chicken on Silverado Ranch and Bermuda was shut down Feb. 7 for no hot water.

Inspectors went there following a complaint that the facility had been operating for several days without hot water and that the freezer was not working.

The freezer had been fixed by the time inspectors got there but the complaint about inadequate hot water was validated as an imminent health hazard.

Inspectors also noted a trash can was being used as a stand for a sheet pan of raw chicken.

Belly Bombz was back to a zero-demerit A the same day.

The owner said there was an electrical problem in the ceiling that ran to the hot water heater. He said they were in operation under the assumption that the electrician would show up soon and fix the problem, but that didn't happen before inspectors came and saw them operating in the midst of an imminent health hazard.

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

Holy Shrimp on Rainbow and Robindale (which used to be called Sizzle Hut) was shut down Feb. 5 with 41 demerits. Inspectors called it a health risk.

When inspectors went back on Feb. 6, they were not prepared for the scheduled re-inspection.

Inspectors found evidence of food preparation without approval and the closure sign had been torn off.

There was also mold in the ice machine, dirty cooking equipment, dirty walls and disposable utensils stored on the floor.

Inspectors found vacuum-packed meat of unknown source, expired truffle butter and expired sauce that was dated from March of 2019 that were supposedly from the previous owner, but still in the fridge.

Rice and curry sauce were in the temperature danger zone.

And four food handlers, including the new owner, were all working without health cards.

Holy Shrimp was back open with a 3-demerit A grade on Feb. 7.

Our call for comment was not returned.

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

Bowlology on Charleston and Pavilion Center was shut down Feb. 6 for operating with inadequate hot water.

Food handlers on site didn't know how long the problem had been going on and were unaware of the minimum hot water temperature required for food safety.

The owner said "It was not our best day" and said the employees on duty at the time got nervous and couldn't answer inspectors' questions, despite the fact that the water temperature information was posted on the kitchen wall.

Bowlology was back to a zero-demerit A grade the next day.

Click here to see health report for Yum Cha.

Click here to see health report for Sizzle Hut (Holy Shrimp) on Feb. 5 2020.

Click here to see health report for Sizzle Hut (Holy Shrimp) on Feb. 6 2020.

Click here to see health report for Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Click here to see health report for Bowlology.

Click here to see health report for Belly Bombz Korean Inspired Chicken.

Click here to see health report for Family Dollar Store.