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DIRTY DINING: Therapy disagrees with health district report

BBQ King, Dukem and Desi Burrito among others
Posted at 10:45 PM, Oct 24, 2016

The cleanest restaurant in the latest Dirty Dining is the one with the most demerits. 

It gets down and dirty at the places with imminent health hazards.

The pictures at one place look like something out of a Halloween horror movie, but it's just the kitchen at BBQ King on Spring Mountain Road. 

The Dirty Dining repeat offender was shut down due to a fire in the kitchen that caused quite a bit of damage. 

But inspectors found all kinds of other scary things -- like many cockroaches on a back room shelf and raw duck thawing in standing water.

There were excessively dirty food storage containers and a whole bunch of blood spatter and food debris under hanging pig carcasses in the cooler.

Not to be outdone in the creepy department, Dukem Ethiopian restaurant on Sierra Vista Drive near Swenson Street was shut down for a cockroach infestation. 

There were multi-generational roaches crawling on dishes, cutting boards and prep tables. They were likely attracted by floors between equipment which were excessively soiled with oil and food debris. 

And the roaches weren't just in the kitchen. Some were spotted on a customer table in the dining room.

Our final imminent health hazard closure came at Desi Burrito on Flamingo Road near Swenson Street. It was shut down for having no hot water.

The highest demerits -- 40 and a C grade -- were given to Therapy. 

Despite that, the restaurant on East Fremont and 6th streets had the cleanest conditions in this report.

General Manager Maria Horta says their team believes the health report is inaccurate.

"It was a little bit too tough and too rough," Horta said.

Therapy has filed a formal complaint with the Health District to dispute some of their violations.

"I think that if it was for 30 demerits, we agree with that but not for the 40," Horta said.

Inspectors documented improper handwashing due to handsinks blocked by trash cans. And multiple prepared foods in the walk-in were expired -- stored past their seven-day expiration date.

"They needed to throw it away and they failed to throw it away," Horta said.

Other food was found at unsafe temperatures including grilled mushrooms, grilled tomatoes and microgreens in standing water. 

Wooden skewers were stored in a dirty container. And there was bacterial growth in the ice bin around the chute.  

"It was no, absolutely no bacteria at all," Horta said.

She added that the black stuff was just part of the machine, which she said isn't making ice, just storing it. 

Therapy wants to stay focused on their charity work and supporting the Downtown Project while serving quality food in a safe environment. 

Therapy was re-inspected Tuesday and got their A grade back. 

Dukem Ethiopian restaurant and BBQ King are still closed. 

Desi Burrito re-opened with a zero-demerit A.