No rules, thermometer lower McMinn County restaurant’s health inspection score


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Management’s lack of knowledge and a basic kitchen utensil led to a McMinn County restaurant’s low score this week.

The health inspector found several food safety violations at Pepo’s Burrito, 924 Highway 411, in Etowah.

Pepo’s Burrito, 924 Highway 411, Etowah – Grade: 77

The restaurant’s grade was 77. That is a passing score. A score below 70 is considered “unsanitary” by the health department.

The report shows the person in charge was unaware of the five employee illness symptoms. Management is supposed to know the symptoms and inform workers about them.

The inspector also found no thermometer in the restaurant that would be used to check food temperatures.

With no thermometer, the temperature of cooked rice was too warm (49 degrees). The correct cool temperature to slow bacteria growth is 41 and below. Five pounds of cooked rice had to be thrown out as a result.

There was also a violation marked for an employee with unrestrained long hair. Long hair is acceptable, but a worker whose hair is too long should have it either in a net or pulled up.

The 34-seat restaurant also had just one bathroom. Under the rules, two are required.

A reinspection is expected soon.

Top scores of the week:

  • Menchies, 11162 Parkside Drive – Grade: 100
  • McDonald’s 100 W. Broadway, Jefferson City – Grade: 100
  • Sonic, 201 E. Broadway, Jefferson City – Grade: 100
  • Bojangles’, 103 Mossy Creek Drive, Jefferson City – Grade: 100
  • Waffle House, 3949 Parkway, Pigeon Forge – Grade: 100
  • Little Mountain Eatery, 454 New Center Road, Sevierville – Grade: 100
  • Pit Stop Pizza, 60 Adams St., Crossville – Grade: 100
  • Burger King, 160 Highway 68, Sweetwater – Grade: 100
  • Long John Silvers, 3660 Parkway, Pigeon Forge – Grade: 99
  • Mimi’s Cafe, 10945 Parkside Drive – Grade: 99
  • Checkers Restaurant, 3431 Winfield Dunn Parkway, Kodak – Grade: 98
  • Which Wich, 212 Hamilton Crossing, Alcoa – Grade: 97

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