KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Cleanliness, storage issues and food temperatures were all cause for concern during a recent health inspection in Campbell County. The Mexican restaurant had nearly half a dozen critical violations in its initial report. It has since been inspected a second time.

El Pueblito Mexican Grill, 2143 Jacksboro Pike, LaFollette — grade: 74; follow-up: 90

El Pueblito Mexican Grill on Jacksboro Pike in LaFollette scored a 74 during its initial inspection. That is a passing score. Any score below 70 is considered failing.

Cleanliness in the kitchen was a problem. When the soda fountain was checked by the inspector a black substance was found on the nozzles. Corrective action was taken on the spot.

Reach-in cooler floors had old food debris on them and some equipment was soiled with grease. Cutting boards were also dirty and stained. A knife used to cut food was also found improperly stored between an electrical cord and a wall.

Fifteen pounds of cooked rice was found in the refrigerator at 59 degrees but a temperature of 41 and below is the safe zone to keep bacteria from growing.

No towels were available for the staff to dry their hands after washing them in the kitchen. Drip drying is not allowed in restaurants.

The health inspector returned to El Pueblito two weeks later and all of the original violations were corrected. The follow-up grade was a 90.

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