The Main Stream

Jan 31, 2014 12:10 AM by John Overall

Kitchen Cops

TUCSON - La Mesa Tortilla Factory on East Broadway makes tortillas with a personal touch. But touching the tortillas turned out to be a problem.

La Mesa Tortilla Factory got hit with three critical violations. A food sink and a three compartment sink were plumbed directly into the sewage system.

Potentially hazardous foods including tamales, refried beans, and shredded beef were held in a refrigerator above the required 41 degrees.

And employees were witnessed handling ready to eat tortillas with their bare hands during the cooking process.

Those violations gave La Mesa Tortilla factory a grade of Needs Improvement.

The plumbing problems were corrected in time for the next inspection but the Pima County health inspector failed La Mesa because she never saw if the employees were handling the tortillas properly.

Jerry Aguilar told Kitchen Cops, "Both times the inspector returned I had already stopped production."

In an email, Jeff Terrell of the Pima County Health Department said, "Aguilar refuses to have anyone make tortillas while we are there, so we cannot observe that the employees are wearing gloves while handling the ready to eat tortillas. "

For that reason Las Mesa Tortilla Company failed its re-inspection and the Needs Improvement grade stands.

Sinbad's Restaurant on East University Boulevard, Olive Garden on West Irvington Road, and Mama's Hawaiian Bar-B-Cue on North Thornydale Road are among the many restaurants earning an Excellent rating.

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