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Dirty Dining: El Alacran De Durango and Pin Kaow

Posted at 3:50 AM, Oct 15, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-15 06:50:08-04

Outdated food, a kitchen falling apart at the seams and salad fixings stored on the floor?! 

Believe it.  It's Dirty Dining with Contact 13 Chief Investigator Darcy Spears.

Tucked away in a little strip mall on Valley View and Twain is El Alacran De Durango. 

It's topping the Dirty Dining list with a 39-demerit C grade. 

We walked in to a festive atmosphere that quickly got quiet...

Darcy Spears: What can you tell me about all the stuff that the Health District wrote up?
Ramiro Vasquez/Manager: I don't speak English.

Manager Ramiro Vasquez does his best to answer our questions about why inspectors found so much to write up.

Darcy: Porque?
Ramiro: it's because the line... Is not working.

He says there was a problem with their refrigeration line.  Which would explain why multiple potentially hazardous foods were in the temperature danger zone--including cheese, chorizo, eggs, sour cream and raw bacon. 

But there's a lot more than that in the health report.

Darcy: They said the flan was a week old and that new salsa was put in a container with old salsa and that the enchilada sauce was 10 days old.
Ramiro: I don't know what that...

Vasquez claims the food itself was fresh, and just the date labels were old. 

Inspectors also saw a server handle dirty dishes then prepared food without handwashing. 

And the chef failed to wash his hands after cracking raw eggs. 

Speaking of eggs...

Darcy: There was a picture of raw eggs sitting right on top of cut lettuce.  Why would somebody do that?
Ramiro: I don't know.  I screamed at the cooking man and he don't say nothing so I send him to the class.

He says he's sending his chef to become a certified food safety manager.

"I don't know what to say about this.  I know it's bad, but I'm fixing, I'm working with Health Department to do better, so..."

The Health District says El Alacran doesn't have control over risk factors for food-borne illness. 

Kitchen wares with food debris were stored as clean. 

Plates were chipped. 

The cutting board was grooved, stained and no longer cleanable. 

And lots of stuff in the kitchen--from floors to counters to caulking around doors--was falling apart. 

But Vasquez is vowing change.

Ramiro: It's never coming back, that C.
Darcy: That C--you know you've got it kind of hidden there.  You're supposed to have that visible.
Ramiro: Yeah.  I know.  It's the second time so I need to fix that thing.

This week's imminent health hazard was Pin Kaow on Rainbow and Lake Mead. 

The Thai restaurant was shut down for operating with no hot water. 

Inspectors also found shrimp, raw chicken and raw beef at unsafe temperatures. 

And salad lettuce stored in a very unappetizing place--in a t-shirt bag under a sink, sitting directly on a dirty floor.

Pin Kaow is back open with a zero-demerit A grade. 

El Alacran still has a C.