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Taqueria El Buen Pastor sets repeat offender record on Dirty Dining

Plus, Mediterranean Market, Michoacan and more
Posted: 12:47 AM, Aug 22, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-22 12:00:03-04
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LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The health district is keeping a close eye on Taqueria El Buen Pastor.

In fact, there should probably be a caution sign blinking over the place based on its recent history. The restaurant on Decatur Boulevard and Meadows keeps failing routine inspections. Now, they've failed a re-inspection in spectacular fashion with 43 demerits.

Taqueria El Buen Pastor made its second appearance on Dirty Dining in July. They're on for a third time now after that 43-demerit closure on Aug. 5.

The restaurant is currently in the Health District's administrative process, which means increased scrutiny and more frequent inspections.

We stopped by on Tuesday to get answers.

Darcy Spears: We just want to find out what's been going on since you're in that Health District administrative process.
Employee: Okay, we don't have anyone in charge right now.
Darcy: You know that they wrote you guys up for a violation for having no one in charge?
Employee: I cannot answer any questions for you.
Darcy: They're not leaving a person in charge again? So we need to let the Health District know that violation is currently active.
Employee: Go ahead.

Health inspectors wrote up repeat violations for improper handwashing, improper dishwashing and uncovered food subject to cross contamination.

There was also a repeat violation for serving spoiled food. Inspectors found four trays of taquitos stuffed with cooked pastor and potato still in use although it was prepared 10 days prior.

There was also heavy pink and brown slime in the ice machine, flies in the dining area and a cockroach in the kitchen.

Plus, a food handler working with a health card that expired in 2016. Health District records show she took the test for a new card last month, but failed.

The restaurant was back to a 5-demerit A grade on August 6.

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While inspectors saw just one roach at Taqueria El Buen Pastor, they saw many in the meat department at Mediterranean Market on Spring Mountain Road and Jones Boulevard.

A sign on the meat case says the section is closed for construction. The meat section is actually closed because the health district shut it down.

Multi-generational roaches infesting the meat department on Aug. 7 caused closure for gross unsanitary conditions.

Inspectors say the pest problem did not appear to be affecting other areas of the market.

As we wait to talk to the person in charge, we notice something strange in the meat case -- plastic bags of string mop heads next to meat.

And in the background, goat carcasses hanging from hooks. Keep in mind, this meat department has been closed for 2 weeks.

They ask us to come back later for an interview and when we do, the mop heads and most of the meat are gone.

We ask about the cockroaches.

"It's very hot," explains Miles Jensen, who runs the meat department. "The temperature you know is hot and the roaches are coming everywhere. That's why now I hired a professional pest control company to clean everything."

Mediterranean Market has not scheduled re-inspection yet because they want things to be perfect.

They had a floor sink full of stagnant water, a dirty slicer and meats in the walk-in cooler sitting on a wet, rusty shelf.

Inspectors also found expired ground beef.

And, floors and the walls in the kitchen and the cooler were very dirty.

"Well, I'm busy," Miles said. "When I'm busy I can't stop selling to clean the floor or touch the floor."

He says he learned a lot from health inspectors but admits it didn't come easy.

"I'll be honest with you, the first time the Health District came I was mad but after that I know how I want to work. I'm happy right now."

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Michoacan Gourmet Mexican restaurant on Tropical Parkway and Centennial Center was shut down August 5 for the imminent health hazard of inadequate refrigeration.

It also got 32 demerits.

Inspectors saw a food handler grabbing tortilla chips with bare hands.

There was expired food including 10-day old lengua as well as salad dressing and cut leafy greens.

Chicken flautas, cooked octopus and some other food had to be thrown out due to improper cooling and unsafe temperatures. In fact, they had to throw out most of the prepared food in the fridge because it was in the temperature danger zone.

There was mold in the ice machine, flies in the kitchen and pooled water and excessive flies where linens were stored outside in back of the restaurant.

Floors under equipment throughout the facility were dirty and there was splattered food debris and build-up on walls.

Michoacan was back to a 9-demerit A grade on August 6. Our call for comment was not returned.

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Family Food Mart on Nellis Boulevard near Gowan saw its snack bar shut down August 6 for two imminent health hazards: no hot water and pest infestation.

There were multi-generational roaches under shelving and behind the ice machine, as well as pink slime and black mold in the ice machine and dirty floors.

It is still closed and our message for comment was not returned.

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Click here to see the health report for Taqueria El Buen Pastor

Click here to see the health report for Mediterranean Market Meat Dept.