Pulling teeth. We're not talking about going to the dentist. An attempt to get answers at a restaurant was like pulling teeth. But that didn't stop 13 Action News from hammering away in the latest Dirty Dining report.
Walking in to Mariscos El Pariente on Flamingo Road and Jones Boulevard, Darcy Spears announced, "We're here because you guys are on Dirty Dining for the 38-demerit C grade you got from the Health District and we'd like to get your side of the story."
Michelle Hasbun said the owner is not there but then we ask for whoever is in charge, which happens to be Hasbun.
We can start trying to get answers about violations like improper handwashing, trash stored next to clean dishes presenting a cross-contamination hazard, and some sort of black yuck spurting out of a pipe. What is their take on what's in the health report -- what inspectors found wrong here?
"Well, actually, everything has been fixed already," Hasbun said.
That's not what we asked.
We want to know about coleslaw and tuna salad found at unsafe temperatures, tongs stored on oven door handles next to soiled rags, raw octopus and oysters stored above cooked soups, and cooked rice in a plastic grocery bag. Why would stuff like that not be handled properly?
"Not sure. Like I said, everything has been fixed already. So there shouldn't be no problem now," Hasbun said.
Again, no answers or explanation.
But what we're trying to figure out is why these conditions existed in the first place. What was wrong in the kitchen? Why didn't they wash their hands properly? Why was food out of temperature? Why was rice stored in a grocery bag in the make table?
"You would need to talk to the other person that was here at the time," Hasbun said.
Wait a minute! The "other" person?
Michelle Hasbun and her signature are on the health report.
And inspectors noted the person in charge was not familiar with symptoms of foodborne illness or other basic food safety regulations.
Why were there problems on inspection day?
"You know, to be honest with you, um, I don't have an answer for you right now," Hasbun said.
She blames the Health District for delaying their re-inspection.
"Now we have to wait for them. And that's what's stopping us from getting our a back and showing that we were doing things right," Hasbun said.
We point out the date on the health report -- Sept. 20.
"Uh, well, actually, um, was it the 20th?" Hasbun said.
At that point, she ran out of excuses.
Moving on to our imminent health hazard closures, we begin with Ben's BBQ and Smokehouse. That food truck was shut down for operating without any water.
And Villa Italian Kitchen at the Fashion Show mall was shut down for a sewage spill. There was a large trash can full of liquid waste, which was also backing up from a floor drain and pooling on the kitchen floor.
Mariscos El Pariente was re-inspected Monday and got its A grade back.
Villa Italian Kitchen re-opened with an A.
Ben's BBQ and Smokehouse food truck is still closed.