Claiborne County restaurant corrects violations after low health score

Food For Thought

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Violations including touching ready-to-eat food, improper temperatures and others led to a Claiborne County restaurant receiving the lowest health inspection score this week.

Cowboy’s Mexican Grill, 6341 Cumberland Gap Parkway, Harrogate – Grade: 73; new grade: 88

The grade is a 73 at Cowboy’s Mexican Grill on Cumberland Gap Parkway in Harrogate. That’s a passing score. Below 70 is a failing grade.

The health inspector found several violations that could possibly cause foodborne illness outbreaks if not corrected.

When in the kitchen, an employee was observed touching ready-to-eat food with his bare hands. Gloves are required to be worn when handling such food to protect from potential contamination.

When the inspector asked the manager about the employee illness policy the manager didn’t know the policy.

In the refrigerator cooked beans were found at 57 degrees but 41 and below is the safe cool temperature to slow bacteria growth. Thirty pounds of beans were thrown out.

A back door to the restaurant was propped open at the food stock room. This allows for bugs to potentially wander into the food storage room.

The inspector returned to Cowboy’s Mexican Grill to reinspect the restaurant and the critical violations were corrected. The restaurant was issued a new score of 88.

Top scores of the week:

  • Knox Brew Hub, 421 Union Ave. – Grade: 100
  • Time Out Deli, 2021 N. Broadway – Grade: 100
  • McDonald’s, 817 Cosby Highway, Newport – Grade: 100
  • Taco Bell, 2315 Charles Seivers Blvd., Clinton – Grade: 100
  • Bull Babies, 109 S. Church St., Rogersville – Grade: 100
  • Salsarita’s Mexican Grill, 140 Hatfield Drive, Morristown – Grade:100
  • Verardi’s on the Lake, 1455 Highway 139, Dandridge – Grade: 99
  • Place of Grace, 310 Deerlodge Highway, Clarkrange – Grade: 100
  • Garden Express, 2550 East Morris Blvd., Morristown – Grade: 100
  • Subway, 2467 Boyds Creek Highway, Sevierville – Grade: 100
  • Some-Wing To Talk About, 400 Chance Private Drive, Oneida – Grade: 100

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