Tucson, AZ

Fail! Local Restaurant Has 13 Health Code Violations

Greyson F

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A local restaurant has 13 health code violations.Nancy Hughes/Unsplash

The county health department has been busy this September here in Tucson. With the return of school, health inspectors not only had to cover their routine restaurant and food vendor inspections, but they also made visits to all the local schools to ensure cafeterias are following necessary food safety protocols. While a few schools were written up for minor violations (no school saw more than two non-critical infractions, which typically have to do with hair nets or the placement of hand washing signs), several restaurants were hammered with an assortment of violations. One particular Tucson restaurant recently was cited for the highest hazard score of the entire month. 

Health inspectors visited Los Betos Mexican Food, located at 3640 South 6th Avenue on September 22 to perform the restaurant’s annual inspection. During the inspection, Los Betos was hit with five critical infractions and a total overall Hazard Score of 13.  

The first out-of-compliance infraction spotted was storing both clean and dirty containers together. Many of the utensils hanging in the kitchen had dried and encrusted with food debris. This included not only the utensils soon to be used by the kitchen staff but utensils hanging with other clean dishes and in food storage. For this violation alone, the health inspector performing the inspection scheduled a follow-up inspection within the following 10 days. If required corrections are not made within this time frame the restaurant will receive a failing grade on its inspection. 

A second out-of-compliance violation was spotted with the walk-in refrigerator. The refrigerator was not functioning correctly, causing water to leak from the unit. Instead of having it repaired, a pan was placed under the condenser fan to collect water. The health inspector has given the restaurant 30 days to make this repair. 

A third compliance issue was with the scoop used to ladle out the sauce. Instead of using a scoop, with a handle that does not come in contact with the sauce. The bowl remained in the sauce, and because there is no handle can potentially contaminate the sauce whenever a hand reaches in to ladle the liquid out. 

Other violations included the observance of trash and excessive soil accumulated under the storage racks within the walk-in cooler, food was improperly cooled in the walk-in cooler, and sour cream buckets used to store spices without appropriate labeling. Three other violations were detected during the inspection but were corrected. Several follow up inspections are currently scheduled.

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