LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Rats, rotting food, sewage and filthy kitchens are the name of the game in this week’s Dirty Dining.
13 Action News begins at JJ Noodle Café on Spring Mountain and Lindell roads, which avoided a shutdown by just one demerit on its June 10 inspection.
They were able to keep their doors open, but with a 40-demerit C grade after the inspector documented seriously dirty, even filthy conditions in the kitchen where there was plenty of cooking, but seemingly little cleaning going on.
The first thing the inspector noted was the lack of hot water because the water heater had been turned off. A food handler went to turn it on after the inspector arrived.
Certain food was at unsafe temperatures that included cooked greens and cooked pork, which had to be thrown out.
Raw chicken was stored on a clean drain board next to clean dishes.
Food in dry storage, including a bulk bin of nuts, was left uncovered and subject to potential contamination.
Utensils sat in lukewarm, standing water.
Employee food was double-stacked on top of customer food in the make table.
There was no sanitizer in the entire facility when the inspector arrived.
Dishes, including bowls and plates and a slicer in clean storage, were very dirty with old food.
Raw chicken and raw beef were thawing at room temperature on counters.
Prepped cabbage, noodles, dumplings, and more were being stored in plastic grocery bags.
There was no person in charge when the inspector arrived, and the staff was unable to answer the inspector’s questions.
None of the cooked products in the restaurant had date or identification labels.
The cutting board was worn and not easily cleanable and tongs were hanging on oven handles.
Condiment containers were also filthy.
Make table lids, fridge interiors, the microwave and equipment handles were also really dirty.
An area between equipment, including the sides of the equipment itself, was caked with thick greasy debris.
The floor sink was heavily soiled, the floor itself was greasy with areas of standing water and ceiling tiles and vents were caked with dust.
JJ Café got off cheap as the health district has temporarily suspended the $1,200 downgrade fee.
The restaurant still has a C grade according to the Health District’s website.
Through a translator, owner Judy Yang said they are working on fixing things and cleaning after getting instructions from the health district.
She was more concerned with how we got the health report than with explaining how the kitchen got so dirty.
When we asked for an explanation and her comment on the violations, she hung up the phone.
Dirty Dining has three imminent health hazard closures to report, beginning with Food Express on Decatur Boulevard, near Oakey Boulevard.
It was shut down June 9 for gross unsanitary conditions, including a rat infestation.
Inspectors found rat feces on top of canned goods, on the lids of bulk powder containers, on the floor underneath shelving and equipment in the back storage area, and on shelves between clean dishes... pretty much everywhere.
The person in charge was aware of the rat issue and showed the inspector two large holes that had recently been sealed. But there were plenty of other openings and gaps that had not been sealed so the rats had easy access.
A bag of rotten, liquefied onions was dripping onto another bag of onions. The bag was also infested with flies.
A container of raw beef sat out at room temperature and a large pot of chicken broth also in the temperature danger zone had been left out overnight. All of that had to be thrown out.
Multiple food items in the freezer were uncovered.
There was no chlorine in two of the three prepared sanitizer buckets.
Heavy food debris littered all the floors, the wok station was leaking water, bulk food containers were dirty and soiled tin foil was on one of the walls.
On inspection day, the restaurant still had not reopened for dine-in customers. It was doing take out and delivery only.
Some employees were wearing masks, but others were not, and the inspector reminded them that they all must wear masks and that door handles, tables, chairs, and other high-touch surfaces must be disinfected.
Food Express hired a food safety consultant and got its A grade back on June 15.
Owner David Chiu declined to comment.
The snack bar at Terrible Herbst on Bonanza Road and Lamb Boulevard was shut down on June 8 for no hot water. Lack of continuous hot water (at least 100 degrees) is considered an imminent health hazard.
Due to COVID-19, the $1,400 closure fee was waived, and the facility was given 24 hours to fix the hand sink.
It was back open with a zero-demerit A grade on June 9.
Our message requesting comment at the number on the health report was not returned. Calls to the number on the Facebook page for this location were met with multiple hang-ups.
Taco Guey, which is inside a gas station convenience store on Rainbow Boulevard and Patrick Lane, was shut down on June 12 for a sewage back-up in the kitchen. Both floor drains were backed up and overflowing. A plumber had already been called for repair.
The inspector also found cooked fish in the temperature danger zone. The manager said the fish, which was cooked the day before, had just been pulled out of the cooler to bag and freeze when a large rush came in 30 minutes prior.
A note at the end of the inspection says, “Please take all measures to ensure compliance with the governor’s mandate during phase 2... with respect to food handling... we are not the enforcers and just provide helpful guidance. Employees should wear masks. One employee did not have one on.”
Taco Guey was able to reopen the same day with a zero-demerit A grade.
Manager Vianey Jimemez hung up the phone when we called asking for comment.
Click here to see the health report for JJ Cafe.
Click here to see the health report for Food Express.
Click here to see the health report for Tacoguey.
Click here to see the health report for Terrible Herbst #336 Snack Bar.