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DIRTY DINING: Cleanliness an issue at Kaya Sushi

Posted at 10:45 PM, Sep 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-27 02:43:46-04

The latest Dirty Dining starts with a customer complaint about food poisoning at a restaurant that's a repeat offender.

Someone complained to the Health District that they got sick after eating at Kaya Sushi near Spring Mountain Road and Arville Street. We'll spare you the symptoms, but suffice to say something in the monkey brain roll, sea urchin, octopus, salmon and tuna sashimi didn't sit well.

"Yeah, well, you know, in this industry that happens all the time," said Kaya Sushi Manager Juno Sul. "We don't really know if they got sick after eating here."

Inspectors don't know either. 

But they did document improper thawing, unsafe food temperatures, improper handwashing and other factors that could contribute to foodborne illness. 

In fact, the inspection turned up plenty of health code violations, leaving Kaya Sushi with 31 demerits and a C grade. 

The repeat offender was first on Dirty Dining in 2012.

Sul blames it on being an all-you-can-eat restaurant.

"We have to be constantly making food. It's a little harder to control our food and our employees."

Inspectors watched a food handler rub their nose and face with gloved hands, then proceed to touch fish and the cutting board. 

Mussels weren't being safely handled and there was a lot of food debris on the equipment next to it.

"We know what we're doing wrong. We're working with our health consultant to fix the issues," said Sul.

Knobs on equipment were also caked with food debris. There's black gunk in the floor mat rings, dirty racks and containers, and inside the fridge was filthy.

"Yeah, um, that's something that we have to definitely work on," said Sul. "We're actually looking for cleaning companies because we realize, considering how busy we are, it's really hard to maintain the cleanliness."

Cases in point? A rusty knife and a soiled panel and get this -- a chef was chewing gum while preparing sushi.

When you chew gum, spittle flies out of your mouth.

"Yeah. He's actually one of our new sushi chefs," Sul said. "We told him about what he can do and what he cannot do."

Employees cannot reuse a dry wiping cloth to remove raw fish debris from a knife. They cannot leave sliced lemons and limes uncovered and subject to contamination. And they cannot store a skewer of meat on the bottom shelf of a dirty table next to an open bucket of chlorine sanitizer. 

Sul said that was leftover from the night before.

Someone's not doing a thorough job cleaning up if there's food sitting out all night too.

"Yeah, that's why we're looking for a professional company to do it for us," Sul said.

We've got four imminent health hazard closures, beginning with Olive Garden on Flamingo Road and Tamarus Street. It was shut down because sewage was backing up out of floor drains due to a problem with their grease trap.

The Palace Station hotel hot dog cart was shut down for no hot water. Also, hot dogs were 17 degrees below the safe hot holding temperature.

Pasta Idea on Lake Mead Boulevard and Buffalo Drive was shut down after someone complained to the Health District that the restaurant was operating without any water. Inspectors arrived, found that was true, and forced them to close.

And the portable unit outside Playas de Cancun was shut down for no hot water. 

Another Dirty Dining repeat offender is on East Charleston Boulevard between Pecos and Sandhill roads.

Inspectors also saw an employee preparing tacos with bare hands, wastewater from a sink spilling onto the ground and sour cream and shredded lettuce at unsafe temperatures. The unit is still closed.

Kaya Sushi still has a C.

Pasta Idea, Olive Garden and Palace Station's hot dog cart re-opened with A grades.