Food for Thought: North Knoxville Mexican restaurant scores low

Food For Thought

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – A North Knoxville restaurant scored the lowest health inspection grade this week. Inspectors pay close attention to food preparation practices that could lead to foodborne illness if they don’t meet the minimum standards.

Such was the case at a local Mexican cuisine spot in North Knoxville.

La Piñata, 2038 N. Broadway – Grade: 75, New grade: 100

Several of those critical violations were noted in one of the inspection reports. A grade below 70 is considered “unsanitary” by the health department.

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At La Piñata, the inspector watched a cook prepare raw chicken and when finished, the cook only rinsed his hands, they did not wash them with soap as required by health rules.

Another person in the kitchen was observed putting utensils away without sanitizing them – can’t do that.

When the inspector checked the temperature of cheese sauce it was at 106 degrees – that’s way too cool. A temperature of 135 and above is the proper hot temperature to slow the growth of bacteria.

Food for Thought: Problems net grades in 70s at 2 Knox County restaurants

La Piñata on Broadway has been reinspected. All five of the original critical violations have been taken care of.

The new grade is 100.

We also checked up on another Mexican restaurant that had scored low and we reported it a few weeks ago.

Food for Thought: Problems found at Hawkins County restaurant

Mexico Lindo, 462 Cedar Bluff Rd. – Original Grade: 71, New Grade: 97

The restaurant was re-inspected and scored a new grade of 97.

Top Scores of the Week:

  • Shoney’s, 4032 Broadway – Grade: 100
  • Buddy’s Bar-B-Q, 4500 Broadway – Grade: 100
  • Awaken Coffee, 125 W. Jackson Ave. – Grade: 100
  • The Lunchbox, 1125 Weisgarber Rd. – Grade: 100
  • Salsarita’s, 288 Illinois, Oak Ridge – Grade: 100
  • Heavenly Hog BBQ, 1107 Clinch Ave., Clinton – Grade: 100
  • Papa John’s Pizza, 503 N. Cusic St., Maryville – Grade: 100
  • Papa John’s Pizza, 1195 Charles Seivers Blvd., Clinton – Grade: 99
  • Pit Stop Pizza, 60 Adams St., Crossville – Grade: 99
  • Hardee’s, 1260 Parkway, Sevierville – Grade: 99
  • Texas Roadhouse, 4332 Erica Greens Circle, Morristown – Grade: 98
  • Hardee’s 509 Patriot Dr., Dandridge – Grade: 98

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