When you go to the grocery store you’re looking for quality products and affordable prices. You’re probably not considering how the shop performed on its previous health inspection. After all, it isn’t preparing food in the same way as local restaurants. However, grocery stores go through the same health and quality control inspections as restaurants in the community as well. One local grocery store in metro Phoenix has an attached restaurant. This restaurant performed poorly enough to receive a D grade on its inspection (despite the grocery store passing the same inspection).
On November 8, the county health inspector visited Carniceria El Herradero at 1416 East Broadway Road in Mesa. The inspection was broken down into two parts, with one covering the grocery store and the other covering the restaurant area, which is relatively small, as it can only seat up to nine guests at a time. The grocery store received an A grade during the inspection, but it was the in-store restaurant that received the poor D grade.
During the inspection, a total of six violations were identified, three of which were considered Priority Violations. A Priority Violation is a major violation that may directly connect to the increase in foodborne illness and injuries.
The first violation came in the form of how the restaurant was storing its meats. Raw bacon was found to be stored directly above vegetables and cheese. This can lead to easy cross-contamination. The Person In Charge (PIC) made the necessary adjustments at the time of the inspection.
The inspector found an issue with the hold holding equipment, as meats and other items sitting in hot holding containers, ready for food orders, were not maintaining the necessary temperature, as foods were dipping under 120 degrees, which is too low and can lead to the development of bacteria. The PIC told the inspector a work order had already been put in for the necessary repair of the hot holding equipment and that, for the time being, food would remain in the hot holding equipment for no longer than 30 minutes, before being reheated.
The third Priority Violation came with proper cold holding temperatures (which is one of the most common violations for restaurants). Food inside of a walk-in cooler or refrigerator must maintain temperatures of no greater than 41 degrees. However, salsa in the fridge had a temperature of 49 degrees.
The three priority foundation violations, which are less severe than the Priority Violations, had to do with issues with the sink as well as not using the appropriate amount of chlorine within the sanitizer equipment