LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — There's an old saying about how you shouldn't poop where you eat, so it stands to reason that an employee restroom with a door that wouldn't close inside a restaurant's kitchen is part of what got a repeat offender in trouble with the Health District once again.
Thai Food To Go is that repeat offender.
The restaurant on Desert Inn and Mojave roads got a 32-demerit "C" grade on its May 7 inspection.
The health report says because the employee restroom door opens directly into the kitchen and doesn’t close all the way, air moves from the restroom into the food handling area.
We arrived to find the front door blocked by equipment and plexiglass, set up essentially as a walk-up window.
"We cannot let you in," an employee said through the plexiglass, adding that the owner wasn't there so no one was available to answer our questions.
The owner wasn't there on inspection day either, when one food handler was caught preparing vegetables in the dining room and another cracked raw eggs, then handled ready-to-eat food without washing their hands.
Shrimp, tofu, beef, cooked pork and cooked potatoes were at unsafe temperatures.
Food wasn't date labeled, and in-use utensils were wedged between the prep sink and the wall.
We ask them to call the owner or the manager and they ask us to wait.
As we wait, a customer, Javier Garcia, arrives to pick up his Thai food to go.
When he steps up to the door, he finds it's been locked and they turned off the neon "Open" sign too, but they signal through the glass for him to wait.
"They obviously are concerned about you being here," Garcia said to Darcy Spears.
And when he sees the "C" grade card in the front window. "It concerns me because you can't trust that they actually have a clean kitchen."
They didn't have a clean kitchen on inspection day, racking up demerits for dirty shelves, floors and ceiling tiles, greasy ventilation hoods, old food debris in the fridge and mold in the ice machine.
"That's not good at all. I think they should just shut it down until they go up to a better grade," Garcia said. "If it was me, I wouldn't operate with that grade. I'd just shut the place down, make sure to clean up everything and follow the rules."
Turns out, they did decide to shut down.
With no explanation, they gave Javier his money back, telling him they couldn't fill his order.
And they never came back to talk to us.
Javier says from now on, he'll always look at the Health District's app or website to check a restaurant's grade before placing an online order.
"It's concerning! Before, I never gave it any thought, but now I'm going to start checking," he said.
The imminent health hazard closure came at Snowballs snow cone truck.
It was shut down on May 4 for no hot water.
The unit was operating in the driveway of the owner's home on Viking Road near Spencer Street.
Inspectors say it was serving customers with nowhere to dump wastewater.
And the trailer was plugged into the home’s power, which was not sufficient to supply hot water at any sink or power to the water pump.
There was also no sanitizer solution and no soap at the only handwash sink.
Owner Mike Parish said he works with Credo Las Vegas and started the shave ice business to help raise money in support of the nonprofit's mission: community revitalization and economic diversity.
He planned to sell at community parks during youth sporting events, but COVID hit before he could get started.
He says after investing $30,000, Snowballs was sidelined for more than a year as he made payments on the trailer with no income.
Parish explained that he and his wife had just started operating when the health inspector showed up, shut them down and hit them with a $1,400 fine.
He says he was blown away by the Health District's heavy-handed approach, and his family cannot afford to re-open the business.
Click here to see the health report for Thai Food to Go.
Click here to see the health report for Snowballs.