Kitchen Cops

Aug 31, 2012 1:00 AM

Kitchen Cops find restaurants that are too hands on

TUCSON - Inspectors from the Pima County Health Department were again busy this week. The good news is a vast majority of Tucson eateries received "excellent" ratings. Out of 186 inspections conducted 142 establishments earned top scores. Unfortunately there was one restaurant that did not come close.

Ali Baba Restaurant, at 2545 E. Speedway Blvd., received eight critical violations. A food service employee was observed wiping his nose with his gloved hand and then handled food. A cook was also seen wiping his forehead with his gloved hand and then continued cooking. The restaurant had an excessive fruit fly problem, described by the inspector as "flying in large numbers." Kitchen items were found to have excessive food debris on them. The walk-in cooler was in need of "deep cleaning" with food encrusted on shelves and dirt on the floor. With more than 5 critical violations Ali Baba restaurant was given a "provisional" rating. Owner, Amir Panah, said that all violations have been corrected and his staff re-instructed on food safety. The restaurant is scheduled for re-inspection in 10 days.

Bangkok Café, at 2511 E. Speedway Blvd., received three critical violations. A food service employee was observed eating a bowl of rice along with an open can of soda in the kitchen. employees are only allowed to eat in designated areas. Food was not being stored at the required maximum 41 degrees in a make top unit. Raw chicken was tested at 50-degress, raw beef at 57-degrees and bean sprouts at 79-degrees. All violations were corrected during the inspection earning Bangkok Café a "Good" rating. Owner Adej Chotichuti said he is in the process of correcting the refrigeration problem and has re-educated his staff on hygiene in the kitchen.

Restaurants that were given "Excellent" ratings this week include, Mei Mei Restaurant, at 1523 W. St. Mary's Road, My Big Fat Greek Restaurant, at 7265 N. La Cholla Blvd. and Sauce, at 7117 N. Oracle Road.

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