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Rodents, flies, foul odor land Wingstop on Dirty Dining

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Posted at 9:58 PM, Oct 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-21 00:58:40-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A “horrible smell,” rats, maggots and excessive flies: none of those are things you want to be associated with a restaurant. But all were documented at Wingstop on Charleston Boulevard and Maryland Parkway, making that big name in chicken wings a Dirty Dining repeat offender.

The East Charleston Boulevard store is the second Wingstop location to be on Dirty Dining, but the first for that franchise owner.

It was shut down on Oct. 6 for “Gross Unsanitary Conditions Including Pest Infestation” after inspectors validated a complaint.

The complainant wrote, “There is a horrible smell under the soda machine, beneath the cabinet. It smells just like a dead rat. There are also a lot of flies around the soda bar/station.”

Inspectors found heavy rodent droppings on the floor behind and below the soda machine and below soda syrups in the kitchen.

They also documented a “strong foul odor” surrounding the soda machine and nearby cabinet.

There were multiple rodent bait stations on kitchen floors, an excessive amount of large flies in the soda machine area, and heavy soda buildup on floors under the soda machine.

Wingstop staff showed inspectors emails requesting service to address the odor coming from the soda machine area. One pest control report said the smell could be coming from the cabinets where the pest operator found maggots on Sept. 15. There were no maggots observed at the time of inspection.

Ventilation filters were excessively dirty and there was a leak in the walk-in cooler, which management believed was contributing to the odor near the soda machine.

Wingstop was ordered to do a deep cleaning, find out where the rats are coming in and where they’re nesting and breeding, seal holes and check the ceiling, as well as maintain a daily rodent observation log.

It was reinspected on Oct. 7 and received a zero demerit "A" grade.

Jorge Ortiz, chief operating officer for the franchisee that owns 12 stores in Las Vegas, wanted to clarify they are not the same franchise as the Wingstop that was on Dirty Dining in February.

Ortiz said, "The rat traps and rat droppings were old. We hadn't seen any activity for at least a couple of months. We believe the rodents got in after a vehicle crashed into our building a few months ago and we had to board up the front of our restaurant. We certainly could have cleaned up earlier but admittedly, we didn’t. However, the rats themselves were addressed immediately. As for the odor, it came from a leak/condensation from the walk-in cooler, as well as chicken juice and blood we wash away when the floor is cleaned. The liquid gets trapped between the soda station and the wall, which is hard to clean. The soda machine and cabinet have been pulled out and cleaned and we are breaking concrete to make sure we fix the leak once and for all, which will mean a day-and-a-half closure for our store. We have a cleaning list that is executed on a daily basis and we take pride in our cleaning. We have learned to create separation between the soda machine and wall so we can catch any issues in the future. We had identified the issue, which was occurring on and off for six months, and repaired the leak, but it kept coming back. We understand the responsibility that comes with serving food and the safety of our guests, and we don’t take that responsibility lightly."

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For the second week in a row, a truck from the Best Mobile Food Service fleet is on Dirty Dining.

The company’s number 2 truck was taken off the road at the construction site at Far Hills Avenue and Desert Foothills Drive on Oct. 7 with 41 demerits and three imminent health hazards: excessive demerits, leaking wastewater, and inadequate refrigeration.

A food handler touched tortillas, lettuce and cheese with bare hands.

The handwashing that inspectors saw was improper and there was wastewater leaking directly onto the ground.

Food in the temperature danger zone included sliced tomatoes, cheese, sausages, eggs, raw bacon, cooked meat with potatoes, breakfast scramble, cooked peppers and cooked vegetables. All of it was thrown out.

The person in charge was unable to communicate food safety knowledge.

Inspectors wrote, “This facility has a documented history of non-compliant inspections and has been entered into the administration process with SNHD.”

We received no response to our voicemail and text messages requesting comment.

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Constellation Catering had one of its mobile units shut down at the Inspirada Pumpkin Patch on Oct. 9 for an imminent health hazard.

Inspectors said there was a lack of proper handwashing because of no convenient hand sinks.

A company spokesperson said, "Our company has never received a single demerit in the seven years we have been in business. We followed the same standard safety checklist for this event as we have for every other in the past. We will be meeting with the Health District to discuss everything in detail, especially since we were cited for food issues and we are "beverage only," serving beer and wine in cans for the event."

Click here to see the health report for Best Mobile Food Service #2.

Click here to see the health report for Constellation Catering AILR.

Click here to see the complaint for Wing Stop #S238.

Click here to see the health report for Wing Stop #S238.