Improper temperatures at Sweetwater restaurant leads to 30 pounds of food being thrown away

Food For Thought

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Improper food temperatures led to one restaurant throwing away more than 30 pounds of food during their health inspection this week.

Minimum internal food temperatures must be maintained to either kill or slow bacteria growth.

Mexi-Wings IV, 706 New Highway 68, Sweetwater – Grade: 70; corrected 91

In Sweetwater, Mexi-Wings IV on state Highway 68 scored a 70, a passing grade. Below 70 is considered “unsanitary” by the health department.

When food temperatures fall above or below the required temperature it is a violation.

In the health inspector report salsa was found at 71 degrees and queso was found at 65. A temperature of 41 is the required cool temperature. Both were thrown away.

Refried beans were at 63 degrees and pork was found at 59. Twenty-five pounds of beans and 5 pounds of pork were embargoed.

The report notes a cook was observed cutting tomatoes, but he wasn’t wearing gloves. He then wiped his hands on a dirty apron without washing his hands and putting on gloves. He then continued to cut tomatoes.

The inspector found no soap or towels at one of the kitchen sinks and another sink was stopped up with food debris. A dirty wiping cloth used to clean tables was also found on a table where food is prepared.

Mexi-Wings IV has been reinspected. The violations were corrected and the grade was changed to a 91.

Golden Wok, 9253 Kingston Pike – Grade: 72; corrected 87

The next lowest grade was a 72 at the Golden Wok, 9253 Kingston Pike. That is a passing score.

The inspector found flies buzzing around the kitchen as well as chicken thawing at room temperature. At restaurants frozen food must be thawed in the refrigerator or in the microwave oven.

Pots and pans were dirty and the kitchen floor was “filthy” according to the inspector. The women’s restroom was also dirty.

When the manager was asked about restaurant cleaning rules, they were unaware of them. Restaurants have to wash, rinse and sanitize their pots and pans.

The inspector trained the manager and encouraged them to read up on the regulations.

Golden Wok has been checked a second time, the grade of 72 was changed to an 87.

Top grades of the week:

  • Red Rooster Pancake House, 3215 Parkway, Pigeon Forge – Grade: 100
  • El Ranchero Loco, 2902 Veterans Blvd., Pigeon Forge – Grade: 100
  • Gatlinburg Brewing Company, 458 Parkway, Gatlinburg – Grade: 100
  • NY Pizza & Pasta, 611 Parkway, Gatlinburg – Grade: 100
  • Cracker Barrel, 1021 Cosby Highway, Newport – Grade: 100
  • Olive Garden, 2540 E. Morris Blvd., Morristown – Grade: 100
  • Habaneros Mexican Grill, 4704 Asheville Highway – Grade: 100
  • Captain D’s 9335 Kingston Pike – Grade: 100
  • Barley’s Taproom & Pizzeria, 128 Broadway, Maryville – Grade: 100
  • Krystal, 303 Whitecrest St., Maryville – Grade: 100
  • Zaxby’s 1099 Hunters Crossing Drive, Alcoa – Grade: 100
  • Allison Catfish Restaurant, 403 Union Grove Road, Friendsville – Grade: 100

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