A Dirty Dining first as Contact 13 visits the valley's newest mall, delivering a distinction that no one wants to get.
MTO Cafe is putting Downtown Summerlin on the Dirty Dining map. MTO stands for made to order.
"As a culinary professional, this is the last place that we want to be," said Frank Newell. He's in charge at MTO and says their 36 demerit C grade served as a wake up call.
"Do I want to be here having this conversation with you under these circumstances?" he said to Contact 13. "Most certainly not. But, what had happened transpired and we can't run from it. We can't hide from it."
Inspectors documented food unprotected from potential contamination, a dirty wiping cloth left on a cutting board and food contact surfaces very dirty and unsanitary, including a can opener caked with food debris.
"A lot of it was stupid, lack of attention by staff," Newell said.
He's most upset about a staff member putting fresh pasta in a pan with an old date label, making inspectors believe the food was expired.
And then, there's the stuff that really was expired -- like lettuce, coleslaw, buttermilk mix, cheese and multiple containers of milk.
"The expired milk. That was a dairy issue. And it wasn't like it was an egregious violation."
The milk was just one or two days past its expiration date. But still...
"Our job is to correct the mistakes that were made and win back the faith and trust of our customers."
One of the mistakes health inspectors repeatedly found was improper handwashing.
Other violations included microbial build-up in the ice machine, utensils stored in dirty water and paint chipping off the mixer.
MTO is waiting to schedule re-inspection because they have to change out their electronic menu board to include warnings about raw or under-cooked food.
"So we're waiting on the data file to be compressed, the proof authorized and what have you, in order to post it," Newell said.
Their grade is also not visible --hidden from customer view behind multiple coffee containers.
"I have pride in what I do for a living," Newell said. "And I do not want this hanging over my head. But it is what it is and it's how you recover from it that determines where you go from there."
Meanwhile, we have two imminent health hazard closures this week -- both shut down for inadequate refrigeration.
At Cook on Wok on Stephanie Street and Warm Springs Road, inspectors also found mold in the ice machine and soda nozzles.
Raw shrimp was thawing in the mop sink. There was excessive rust in the walk-in cooler. And excessive gunk on other kitchen equipment.
The other imminent health hazard closure was Quality Food Service's truck No. 2 -- where refrigeration problems put raw chicken and many other foods at dangerously unsafe temperatures.
That Quality Food Service truck is still off the road.
MTO Cafe was re-inspected on Tuesday morning and got their A grade back.
Cook on Wok re-opened with a three-demerit A grade.