Tucson, AZ

Local Restaurant Fails Health Inspection

Greyson F

A local restaurant has failed its health inspection.Photo byNancy HughesonUnsplash

When it comes to restaurant health inspections, not all violations are created equal. There are some restaurants pinged with double-digit violations, and yet because most of the violations are not actually food related they are still granted a passing grade (although often told to make improvements before the next inspection occurs). And yet, there are other inspection details that can lead restaurants to receive a failing grade. Although health inspectors are somewhat lenient when it comes to non-food-related violations, there is no leniency regarding food-specific issues. And that is exactly why one Tucson restaurant recently was slapped across the chin with a failing grade, despite having only two violations. 

On January 24, 2023, a health inspector stopped by Ginza Sushi and Izakaya at 5425 North Kolb Road (#115) for the annual health inspection. The restaurant passed dozens of inspection points, but it had two very specific, and very critical violations. And these violations can directly lead to the spreading of germs and making customers sick, which is why the restaurant was giving a failing grade. 

Both of the violations are related to the walk-in cooler temperature. According to regulations, a walk-in cooler needs to maintain a temperature of no higher than 41 degrees. Anything higher and food within the walk-in cooler might begin to develop bacteria, not to mention many of the foods will quickly begin to break down, which may quickly turn into mold spores. 

During the inspection, various foods stored within the walk-in cooler were tested. Radish sprouts were kept at 60 degrees, tofu at 58 degrees, quail eggs at 56 degrees, opened containers of cream cheese at 56 degrees, and much of the cooler itself checked in around 54-55 degrees. Again, this is significantly warmer than the required 41 degrees. 

All of the food held within the walk-in cooler was thrown away during the inspection, as it was no longer suitable for human consumption (while quail eggs can last up to four weeks outside of refrigeration, they fall under the same category as chicken eggs which, in the United States, must be refrigerated due to the protective barrier that is removed during washing).

The walk-in cooler was immediately rendered unusable until it could be repaired, and the health inspector gave the restaurant 24 hours to have it fixed, as they would return to the restaurant to check. 

Ginza Sushi and Izakaya did not have the walk-in cooler repaired by the 25, and as such their failure rating will remain until a repair is performed. 

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Tucson, AZ

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