KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Food handling and sanitation issues were found during an initial health inspection at a Mexican restaurant in South Knoxville. Handling of ready-to-eat food and not properly washing hands were among some of the violations.

Tequila Amigo’s Mexican Grill, 116 Green Road — grade: 73; follow-up grade: 93

Tequila Amigo’s Mexican Grill on Green Road scored a 73, a passing score. Any score below 70 is considered failing. A follow-up inspection has already been conducted.

The health inspector’s report found a number of violations among the staff. A cook was seen wiping his hands on clothing instead of washing them with water and soap.

Kitchen employees were also seen grabbing lettuce and ready-to-eat foods with their bare hands. Gloves are required to prevent potential contamination. Workers were also eating and drinking while they were on the food preparation line.

Beef tips were being held at 112 degrees, but 135 and above is the safe, hot temperature to kill bacteria growth. In the walk-in freezer, food was being stored on the floor instead of on shelves.

Finally, a bucket where wet wiping cloths are kept to clean tables did not have sanitizer in it.

Tequilia Amigo’s Mexican Restaurant has been inspected again. All of the original violations were corrected. The new grade is a 93.

Top scores of the week:

  • Applebee’s, 5316 Central Avenue Pike — 100
  • Cancun Mexican Grill & Cantina, 4100 Crippen Road — 100
  • La Fiesta Mexican Restaurant, 5707 Western Ave. — 100
  • Naf Naf Grill, 126 N. Cedar Bluff Road, — 100
  • Cook Out, 435 E. Emory Road, Powell — 100
  • Five Guys, 7531 Barnett Way, Powell — 100
  • Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, 130 The Island Drive, Pigeon Forge — 99
  • Big Ed’s Pizza, 101 Broadway, Oak Ridge — 99