Local News


Dirty Dining: Taqueria La Casa del Pastor busted

Posted at 10:48 PM, Mar 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-17 02:48:09-04

Food trucks and trailers are giving a whole new meaning to dining "al fresco." They keep getting more popular across the valley, but are they safe and sanitary? 

We had to walk through a car wash parking lot to find Taqueria La Casa del Pastor. But food trucks are parked in all kinds of places. This one sits on Tropicana Avenue near Jones Boulevard. 

Their last inspection avoided shut down by just one demerit.

Taqueria La Casa del Pastor's 40-demerit C stemmed from lots of little things that inspectors noted were fixed on the spot. 

Franco Fernandez says he had to make up for other employee's mistakes.

"Everyone should have time for fixing, for washing, for everything. Some people don't do that."

Inspectors found al pastor pork and salsas held in the temperature danger zone. Beef at room temperature had to be thrown out. 

And there were several issues with handwashing, including a food handler who touched pork on the vertical grill then handled in-use utensils without handwashing or changing gloves.

Fernandez said there were things that could put the public's health in danger.

Raw meat was stored over veggies. Food was double-stacked without barriers. T-shirt bags were re-used to store cut limes and tomatoes. And raw pork liquid was dripping onto the counter, but wasn't cleaned up. 

Fernandez said other food trucks are far worse than theirs. He said others had animals in the food truck.

Franco takes pride in his mobile eatery, even bringing us inside the few square feet of space to show they're ready to trade their C grade in for an A.

"I clean up everything," he said.
The imminent health hazard closures include one name familiar to Dirty Dining -- Thai Style Noodle House. The Spring Mountain location was featured two weeks ago, but this report is about the one on Fort Apache Road and Reno Avenue. It was shut down for having no hot water.  

Trevi bar inside the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace met the same fate. They were also storing a wine bottle in the ice used for customers' drinks and storing beverage containers on the floor.

Taqueria La Casa del Pastor still has a C grade.

Trevi bar and Thai Style Noodle House both quickly reopened with zero-demerit A grades.