LAS VEGAS (KTNV) - Cici's Pizza on Charleston and Arville was home to an imminent health hazard that caused inspectors to shut the restaurant down October 22. The closure came after someone complained to the Health District about rats running around in the roof and seeing rat tails hanging down from ceiling vents.
Inspectors saw rodent droppings and pest harborage conditions throughout the kitchen, including excessive food debris and build-up, wet floors and dirty equipment.
There were rat feces under the main buffet counter, near the pizza oven, under the sink, next to the fridge, near floor drains, under equipment, shelving and the dish machine and on the base of the "Fun and Games" room.
There were also numerous open snap traps throughout food prep and warewash areas causing potential contamination.
The restaurant operator told inspectors pest activity was observed from the ceiling approximately a week before and they were working to eradicate it. But they did not report it and did not shut themselves down--which is what health code requires.
"We have no comment," said a Cici's employee when we showed up to get their side of the story.
Darcy Spears: We always want to make sure we give the restaurants a chance to talk.
Employee: No worries, yeah, we were closed for cleaning.
Darcy: Closed for cleaning up the rats and all the poop they left behind?
Employee: No, just cleaning.
Darcy: It's documented by the Health District that there were rats and rat feces all over the place. Employee: Unfortunately, we don't really allow recording in the store so I'm gonna have to ask you guys to leave.
After we left, the restaurant emailed a statement saying: "Quality and cleanliness are among our top priorities, and, after discovering an issue at this location, we immediately took extensive steps to correct it. We have passed our re-inspection with high marks and are open for business. We will remain vigilant in our efforts to maintain our high standards, and are committed to creating a safe, family-friendly environment for all our guests."
The statement didn't address the rats or any of the other violations the Health District found, like the ice machine, which was contaminated with yellow slime and debris.
The can opener was heavily soiled, but that was nothing compared to the grimy racks in the pizza oven.
The dish machine was also heavily soiled with buildup and grime.
And inspectors noted a very large amount of white crawling gnats on the sewer grate cover under the sink.
Cici's reopened October 24 with an 8-demerit A grade.
Cici's wasn't the only place infested with rats.
Family Dollar store on Charleston and Lindell was shut down October 22 for a rodent infestation
And it's not the first Family Dollar store to be shut down due to rats. The same thing happened at Family Dollar on Lake Mead and Pecos in March.
At the West Charleston location, inspectors saw live rodent activity in the warehouse and a dead rodent in a trap under shelving in the store between the disposable plates and cereal aisle.
Large quantities of droppings were found throughout the warehouse and under shelving in the paper towel aisle.
There was evidence of gnawing on packages of dog and cat food in the store.
The ceiling throughout facility had holes and entry points for pests.
Family Dollar also had an outstanding verified complaint fee owed to the Health District from October 12.
According to the Health District, Family Dollar is still closed and reinspection has not been scheduled at this time.
A company spokesperson sent the following statement:
"We are working with the health inspector and pest control services to completely resolve the issue. The safety and well-being of our customers and associates is our first priority."
Chicken Now at the Outlet Center on Las Vegas Boulevard and Warm Springs is a Dirty Dining repeat offender. The restaurant has been shut down three times in the last two months for roach infestations.
The latest closure came on October 22 after a complaint to the Health District.
The customer said they'd taken two bites of their wrap before noticing a roach on the wrap. And inspectors found multi-generational cockroaches in the facility.
There were live roaches in the wall opposite the sink, in the drain under the prep table, at the hand sink in the front area and roaches were nesting in the shelves above the prep table.
Shelves inside the walk-in were dirty too.
Chicken Now was required to undergo intervention training with the Health District and reopened with an 8-demerit A grade on October 25.
No one returned our call for comment.
Paris Burger Brasserie restaurant inside the Paris hotel casino got a 40-demerit C grade--avoiding shut down by just one demerit--on its October 25 inspection. .
A food handler used gloves to handle raw hamburger, then picked up a towel with contaminated gloves and placed the towel on a food prep surface.
House-made roasted garlic in oil was expired.
Food in the temperature danger zone included cooked beef, cooked onion rings, cut lettuce, pepper jack cheese, sliced turkey, cooked mushrooms, cooked lobster, bean puree and cheese sauce.
Open prepped lettuce was touching the dusty cooler condenser.
Ther was open pancetta, uncovered in the freezer and pans with food debris stored as clean.
The date label on cooked pork was improperly modified to extend shelf life, there was mold in the ice machine and pans of chili were stored on the floor in cooler.
The health inspector wrote: "Increased unannounced inspection frequency may be utilized to ensure long term compliance as facility has history of failed unannounced inspections."
Burger Brasserie sent a statement saying, "We appreciate the inspection bringing to light areas for improvement, which we have corrected. We are happy to report that a reinspection showed all issues were addressed and our A was reinstated."
They were back to a zero-demerit A grade on October 30.
Sofia's Pizza on Sahara and Tenaya was shut down October 25 for no hot water.
The person in charge told inspectors the water heater broke the night before and they had a repair guy on the way to fix it. Nonetheless, they were found open and in full operation in the midst of that imminent health hazard.
There was also food in the temperature danger zone, including sliced ham, tzatziki and cooked spaghetti. All were thrown out.
A wooden dish mop utensil with yarn strings attached to it was being used as an oil brush and an employee's hat was stored over to-go boxes.
Sophia's was reinspected October 29 and got a zero-demerit A grade.
Our call for comment was not returned.
The City of Las Vegas Detention Center on Stewart and Pecos saw its food service shut down with 41 demerits on October 22. There was also an imminent health hazard--lack of adequate refrigeration.
Because you can't shut down food service in a prison altogether, a limited menu and food prep of making food trays from an outside vendor was approved during the closure.
The detention center's food service contractor was required to have a supervisory conference prior to reinspection and present a plan of action to ensure food safety is adequately achieved and maintained moving forward.
Inspectors saw a food handler handle trash, then food without handwashing.
There was black mold on raw cut potatoes and lots of food in the temperature danger zone including garbanzo beans, cooked corn, sandwiches, stuffing, baked potatoes, gravy, beef, raw chicken, raw ground turkey, cut melons, mashed potatoes, alfalfa sprouts and bean sprouts.
Inspectors found pink slime in the ice machine, black build-up on cutting boards and excessive mineral deposits, debris and pink build-up in the ware-washing machine.
Multiple pieces of equipment stored as clean had dried food debris such as the deli slicer, sheet pans, juicer tub and other pans.
Two large pallets of frozen turkey ham steaks were left unattended for six hours and found at room temperature. The operator told inspectors he was unaware of where he was going to store the food.
Surfaces throughout facility were not maintained clean and in sanitary condition such as speed racks with cobwebs inside the walk-in cooler and dried build-up on racks and in coolers.
There was also excessive food spillage and accumulation throughout floors in walk-in coolers.
It was reinspected October 23 and received a zero-demerit A grade.
The City sent the following statement:
"The City of Las Vegas has a contract with an outside vendor to provide food service for the Detention Center. Recently, issues related to equipment and Health Department requirements were identified. All those issues were addressed and corrected within 24 hours. Per the contract, all costs in this matter were absorbed by the vendor."
And finally, Yui Edomae Sushi on Arville and Spring Mountain was shut down for failing reinspection on October 25.
They'd been shut down two days before on October 23 for a cockroach infestation in response to two complaints about roaches.
The executive shelf made multiple requests for reinspection and although the Health District cautioned the chef that it was too early to come back after an infestation as heavy as they one they had and warned him it would result in another $716 closure fee if roaches were observed, he still insisted they come back for reinspection.
As predicted, continued roach activity was immediately observed in the kitchen and sushi bar when inspectors arrived for the reinspection, so the restaurant failed and had to remain closed.
Yui Edomae reopened with a zero-demerit A grade on October 31.
We spoke to the owner on the phone who said they've improved everything and are proud to have their A grade back.
Documents from the Southern Nevada Health District