LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Leading this week’s Dirty Dining list is Rocco’s New York Pizza & Pasta on the Las Vegas Strip.
The location in a strip mall on Las Vegas Boulevard and Four Seasons Drive got 40 demerits on its Feb. 9 inspection, and was shut down with two imminent health hazards: there was a sewage backup and employees had nowhere to go to the restroom or properly wash their hands.
Inspectors found all the floor drains backing up throughout the restaurant. Restrooms were closed due to the sewage backup.
Three pizzas and a tray of calzones had to be thrown out due to unsafe temperatures.
Inspectors found multiple expired foods, including heavy cream dating back to Jan. 24, three containers of tzatziki sauce that had expired in October of 2021, two containers of cooked pasta labeled Jan. 28, and a container of house-made garlic butter that was a month old.
Spices on the shelf above the cooktop were contaminated with dust and hood grease.
There was a moldy block of cheese and two chunks of moldy roast beef in the walk-in cooler.
Melted butter in a squeeze bottle and garlic butter on the counter had to be thrown out after the inspectors found them sitting at room temperature.
A dirty scoop handle was touching flour and a deli cup was being used as a scoop in ready-to-eat Parmesan cheese.
A wooden pizza peeler was stored on a dirty, dusty shelf under the front counter.
Soda nozzles were excessively soiled with black mold.
The dough mixer and deli slicer they’d used the day before was dirty with old, dried-up food and grease.
Clean utensils were stored on a dirty, greasy shelf.
Sink handles were dirty and greasy.
The inside of the reach-in fridge and microwave, as well as the outside of bulk bins and shelves, were dirty with old food.
Cutting boards were heavily soiled, stained and grooved, and the area underneath the cutting boards was very dirty with old food.
The person in charge admitted cutting boards are not regularly cleaned.
Rocco’s was reinspected on Feb. 11 and received a 6-demerit "A" grade.
We were unable to reach anyone for comment.
Frank & Fina’s Cocina on Grand Canyon Drive and Flamingo Road was shut down on Feb. 10.
They posted a sign on the front door saying they were closed “due to an emergency kitchen repair,” but the real reason (as detailed on the bright pink Health District sign on the same door) was a multi-generational cockroach infestation.
It also got 27 demerits.
Inspectors found live and dead roaches throughout the facility: under the hand sink next to the grill, under shelving next to the cook line, under the microwave, behind soda syrup boxes, in the dry storage area and in a container holding clean utensils on a prep table.
Cooked chiles and carnitas were expired and had to be thrown out, as did a moldy head of cabbage.
Multiple foods were at unsafe temperatures including ropa vieja, tamales and shredded chicken.
A container of sesame seeds sat on top of uncovered, halved avocados.
There was excessive black mold in the ice machine.
A knife, floors, the ware-washing station, storage racks, walls, the undersides of shelving, and multiple other pieces of equipment in the kitchen and dry storage areas were dirty with excessive grease and old food.
Frank & Fina’s was ordered to cease and desist all food handling and service until they deep cleaned and got professional pest control treatment for the pervasive infestation.
It was reinspected on Feb. 18 and received a zero-demerit "A" grade.
A manager told us the main issue is severe under-staffing in the kitchen that hampered their ability to do daily deep cleaning, tile repair, etc.
"We weren't as diligent as we could be. We are devastated that this came to pass and the situation should have never happened. We should have acted sooner but we were overwhelmed and didn't realize it was as bad as it was so, we didn't self-close. It was a big wake-up call. We did major repairs and sealing of cracks, going above and beyond what the Health District asked us to do so, we're all good now."
Click here to see the health report for Rocco's NY Pizza & Pasta.
Click here to see the health report for Frank & Fina's Cocina.