When sifting through the latest restaurant health and safety reports, you will normally discover two truths. The first is that chain restaurants always perform exceptionally well. Say what you will about the quality or taste, but large chains like McDonald’s, Subway, Wendy’s, and so on typically have flawless health reports. All of these restaurants have oversights, with regional managers looking over the local restaurant manager’s shoulder, making sure everything is up to snuff. In terms of a clean kitchen, these destinations tend to shine. And the second truth is, more often than not, large, popular restaurants also usually perform well. These restaurants have the money and the employees to keep everything up to par because the only problems they could possibly run into come from a failed health inspection. In Tucson, a recent inspection is proving otherwise.
Back on April 13, a health inspection was performed at El Charro Cafe. Located at 311 North Court Avenue here in Tucson, the local inspector gave the restaurant a “Needs Improvement” rating. When this kind of rating is given, the restaurant usually has about a week to make improvements, otherwise more serious ratings might be given.
A combination of seven core and priority issues was flagged during the initial inspection. The first problem was that a handwashing sink didn’t have soap, although that didn’t matter because it didn’t have running water either. The second issue came with the cold holding temperature readings. Thawing foods needed to be held at 41 degrees, and yet thawing beans on hand had temperatures as high as 76 degrees, and juices at 50 degrees.
The inspector found pest control devices were in use directly above food holding stations, which means it is very easy for elements of the pest control device to fall down into the food handling area. Additionally, the walk-in cooler had dust and dried food debris, and a compartment sink did not have proper plumbing, in that instead of pipes running from the sink, water was released straight from the sink onto the ground, which then would wash down into an adjacent drain. Having open sewage water running without proper plumbing is a major concern.
Since the initial inspection, a follow-up inspection was performed. However, only one of the issues was addressed, and the restaurant still has a combination of six core and priority issues. A final inspection will take place in the coming days, and if the issues have still not been addressed, the restaurant may receive a failing grade, which can come with it probations, fines, and other more extreme penalties.