Popular Mexican restaurant fails for unsanitary practices

Popular Mexican restaurant fails for unsanitary practices

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  • Restaurant Scores

    Restaurant Scores

    The inspection scores reported here are accurate at the time of this report. To check the latest scores, visit the Tennessee Department of Health website.
    The inspection scores reported here are accurate at the time of this report. To check the latest scores, visit the Tennessee Department of Health website.More >>
  • Don Dare

    Don Dare

    Don Dare 6 On Your Side reporter Don Dare reports on the latest restaurant inspections by the Knox County Health Department every Thursday on 6 News at 6:00.
    Each week, 6 On Your Side reporter Don Dare checks the latest restaurant inspections by the Knox County Health Department. Find out which restaurants flunked and which are the cleanest every ThursdayMore >>

By DON DARE
Food for Thought Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A popular Mexican restaurant has the lowest health inspection report this week.

The inspector found a number of critical violations at the lowest-scoring restaurant.

Remember, a grade below 70 is considered unsanitary by the health department.

Lowest score:

Don Pablo's, 2904 Knoxville Center Drive - Grade: 68

To begin with, the inspector found a dirty tomato chopper that had not been sanitized.

Also, a sanitizer spray bottle was stored next to food. At home you likely keep spray bottles under the sink where there is no food. At restaurants, sanitizers are supposed to be stored in a separate area where there is not food to prevent possible surprises.

An ice scoop was found stored in dirty, standing water.

When he checked the sink in the men's room there was no hot water. As a result, neither customers nor employees could properly wash their hands.

The inspector watch the cook handle raw beef that's filled with bacteria, then without washing his hands he touched the contact surface of some food utensils.

Finally, a food worker had painted fingernails. Polished nails are not allowed at restaurants, because you can't see what's under them.       

Reinspected scores:

A few weeks ago, the Outback Steakhouse on Sawyer Lane scored a 60. That restaurant at Strawberry Plains has been reinspected; the new grade is an 84.

Top scores:

  • All Spice Cafe and Outtakes Cafe, Fort Sanders Medical Center - Grade: 100
  • Kitchen Express,  220 Bridgewater Road - Grade: 98
  • Five Guys Burgers and Fries, 10922 Parkside Drive - Grade: 97
  • Mikata Japanese, 10918 Spring Bluff Way - Grade: 97
  • M&M Catering, 1039 Summerwood Road - Grade: 97
  • Cazzy's Grill,  2099 Thunderhead Road - Grade: 96
  • Menchie's, 11162 Parkside Drive - Grade: 95
  • Starbucks, 11038 Parkside Drive - Grade: 95
  • El Charro, 10400 Kingston Pike - Grade: 93
  • Hardee's, 305 Emory Road - Grade: 93
  • Five Guys Burgers and Fries, 7531 Barnett Way - Grade: 92
  • Baker Peters, 9000 Kingston Pike - Grade: 92

Just about all of the top-scoring restaurants serve lots of customers and grades in the 90s reflect some close attention to detail.

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