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DIRTY DINING: Mama DePalma's Pizzeria

Posted at 10:45 PM, May 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-03 10:58:04-04

A cop-turned-restaurateur learns health code enforcement the hard way. 

Contact 13 Chief Investigator Darcy Spears lays down the law on Dirty Dining.

When you walk into a restaurant, you should always see their grade card in full, public view.

Mama DePalma's Pizzeria on Maryland Parkway and Silverado Ranch Boulevard got a 35-demerit C grade from the health district but it appears to be covered up.

Inspectors wrote Mama DePalma's up for multiple handwashing violations and a fridge dirty with food debris. 

They had to throw out a whole lasagna that was improperly cooled, as well as food at unsafe temperatures including cheese, milk and pasta. 

As Alfredo Carrallo, the person in charge, shows us around the kitchen, we spot another violation. There's no water running over chicken that is being thawed.

Inspectors also found a container stored on top of unprotected, cut vegetables. 

And no detectable sanitizer at the three-compartment sink. 

Owner Angelique DePalma, a former police officer, says she and her staff were blindsided by the inspection results.

"Little nitpicky things that we've never been written up for."

She says the health inspector had a trainee with her and they put the restaurant under a microscope.

"We know we have good food. We know we're not poisoning people," DePalma said. "We know we're not dirty. And that letter that you have to hang up, it's just, it's heartbreaking."

She was mortified of just the thought of being on Dirty Dining.

"Absolutely! I'm, I'm, this is shameful to me," DePalma said. "We take pride in what we do and it's just something that I've never had to deal with. I watch your show and I see other people on it and I know their grief."

Hours after we left, Mama DePalma's was reinspected and got their A grade back.

"So hopefully now my staff is up to speed and they will comply and we will comply and hopefully we never see you again," DePalma said.

Our three imminent health hazard closures begin with China One on West Charleston Boulevard and Desert Foothills Drive. It was shut down for operating without hot water. Inspectors also found a repeat violation of cooked chicken at an unsafe temperature.

Glenmel Cuisine on East Charleston Boulevard near 15th Street was shut down for operating without power. They had a fridge full of food at unsafe temperatures. Inspectors also found a box of spoiled sweet potatoes on the shelf, buzzing with live fruit flies.

And finally, the Flamingo hotel-casino on the Las Vegas Strip saw its pool restaurant and bar both shut down for endangering public health. There was no way to properly wash anything due to a malfunctioning sink and a back up dish machine that wasn't working.

As we said, Mama DePalma's got its A grade back. 

China One, Glenmel and the Flamingo pool bar and restaurant are all back open with A grades.