Tucson, AZ

Local Restaurant First to Fail Health Inspection in 2023

Greyson F

A local restaurant has failed its health inspection.Photo byCDConUnsplash

When restaurants fall under the watchful eye of local health inspectors, not all infractions are created equal. Many infractions have little to no impact on the quality of the restaurant’s service as well as the safety of the food. It might be due to temporarily running out of paper towels or having a hand washing sign partially covered. In the past, Tucson restaurants and other food-serving establishments would be cited for their infractions, but the county health inspector would not provide insights into the seriousness of the individual problems. Starting with the new year, the county health inspector’s website was updated to clearly outline the severity of these different infractions, which makes it easier for the general public to know what is going on with local restaurants. All of these updates also point to the very first restaurant to receive a failing health inspection grade for the year. 

Back on December 24, 2022, Pima County health inspectors visited Tuk Tuk Thai at 2990 North Campbell Avenue (Suite 130). This was scheduled to be their annual frequency inspection, although the restaurant had already been visited twice earlier in the year. Receiving three visits from the health inspector between July and December is rare, and only occurs when a restaurant performs poorly during their inspections. During their July inspection, they were cited with numerous infractions. To make sure Tuk Tuk Thai had made the necessary corrections an inspection was performed the following month. 

In December, the health inspectors again returned to the restaurant to make sure employees and management were adhering to the corrections but instead found the restaurant had backslid further, with nearly twice as many infractions as before. The restaurant was given 10 days to make the necessary improvements or face receiving a failing grade. 

On January 5, the health inspectors returned, and found the corrections were not made, and as such gave Tuk Tuk Thai a failing grade (health inspection grades are Excellent, Good, Needs Improvement, and Fail). Some of the failed areas of their inspection were the restaurant did not have anyone on staff that had gone through a food protection certification course, they were using a watered-down cleaning solution that was far below the necessary sanitizer levels required to kill germs (and by using the solution staff was essentially spreading germs around when washing), food debris was left in grinders, and clean clothes were not used to clean the facility tables, but instead, dirty clothes were often used instead. 

There is no word yet as to what will happen to the restaurant now that it has officially failed its health inspection, despite being given time to make the necessary improvements. 

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