It hasn’t been a great last few weeks for Tucson area restaurants. During their annual food health and safety inspections, a large number of these restaurants were hit with “needs improvement” grades, indicating the restaurants had major violations and needed to have these areas corrected, often in a matter of weeks. However, one particular restaurant stood out as the worst of the bunch, as it was hit with a probation inspection rating due to its 18 violations.
On March 9 of this year, Taco Giro Mexican Grill, located at 2750 West Valencia Road, underwent its yearly health food inspection. As the restaurant is new, this is the first inspection it has undergone. If things continue as they are, it will be the last inspection the restaurant undergoes as well. 9 Core violations, as well as 9 priority violations, were identified, making it one of the worst-rated restaurants of the past year.
Several violations were corrected on the spot. This includes properly cleaning the handwashing sink, removing employee water bottles from food preparation surfaces, cooling rice at an appropriate temperature, and the length of time cooking chili peppers can be left out.
In fact, many of the health code violations were corrected during the inspection, but due to the sheer volume of issues, the restaurant was placed on probation. Some of the issues were a matter of a degree off here or there (foods in the freezer being a degree off of the required cooling and freezing temperatures). However, at other times, imitation crab meat was left out to thaw in 78-degree heat, which is far too hot for thawing and increases the chance of developing bacteria.
The restaurant was not shut down, nor did it have to make any extensive equipment repairs, which is often the case when a restaurant has such a large number of violations. As the restaurant was not required to make any repairs, health inspectors will not be returning in the coming weeks. Instead, the restaurant will have the standard full year to make all the improvements. Should Taco Giro Mexican Grill have a similar performance next year, that probation will turn into something far more damaging to the establishment, as it will likely face forced closure. However, for the time being, the restaurant will be left to continue doing business and to make the necessary tweaks and sanitary improvements by the time of its next inspection in 2024.
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