KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The presence of rodents is just one of several critical violations found during a recent health inspection at a Cali-Mex-style restaurant in East Knox County.

The grade is a 70 at the Retro Taco Restaurant on 3821 Governor John Sevier Highway in Knoxville. This is a passing score. A grade of 69 and below is considered failing.

Retro Taco, 3821 Governor John Sevier Hwy, Knoxville — Grade: 70, Follow-up Grade: 90

To begin with, food temperatures were way off. Warm chicken that had been cooked in the morning was at 112 degrees, but 135 and above is the safe hot temperature to serve to customers. Also, the chicken in the cooler was at 89 degrees. But to kill bacteria growth, 41 and below is the safe cool temperature.

The inspector found a whole bunch of moldy jalapenos. They were thrown out on the spot, according to the report.

In the prep and storage areas of Retro Taco, the inspector found an infestation of rodents. According to the report, feces was found in both the prep and storage areas. The inspector suggested that the restaurant contact its pest control company as soon as possible.

In the cooler, the inspector found no date marks on some ready-to-eat food. Date marking helps indicate when foods are no longer safe to eat. This helps prevent foodborne disease outbreaks.

Also, employees did not wash their hands in between jobs as required by health rules.

The inspector has returned to Retro Taco for a follow-up. All of the original violations were corrected and the new grade is a 90.

Top Scores of the Week

  • Checkers, 4100 Chapman Hwy, Knoxville — 100
  • Daniel’s Sports Bar & Grill, 8725 Chapman Hwy, Knoxville — 100
  • Pizza Hut, 2405 Chapman Hwy, Knoxville — 100
  • Zaxby’s 2024, Cumberland Ave, Knoxville — 100
  • Burger King, 2806 N. Broadway, Knoxville — 100
  • Wing Stop, 1743 W. Broadway Ave, Maryville — 100
  • Subway, 2788 Andrew Johnson Hwy, Morristown — 99
  • Panda Express, 375 S. Illinois Ave, Oak Ridge — 99

Restaurant health inspections are conducted every six months, but if you notice a violation politely tell the manager or you can call the health department in the county where you live.