Jul 25, 2014 1:30 AM by Sean Mooney
TUCSON- With Pima County Health Inspectors on patrol this week, stepping outside wasn't the only place to feel the heat in Tucson.
Vivace Restaurant, at 6440 N. Campbell, received eight critical violations. A cook was observed dropping cooked egg plant on the floor and then used tongs to pick it up to throw out. The cook then used the same tongs to handle other food without washing them first. Several items in refrigeration units tested above the required maximum 41 degrees. Cooked artichoke temped at 55 degrees, cooked veal at 53 degrees, escargot at 51 degrees. Several flies were observed in the kitchen around a prep table and gathering near boxes by a back door.
With eight critical violations, Vivace Restaurant, was given a "Provisional" rating.
Owner, Daniel Scordato, issued a statement saying..."The safe handling and preparation of food for our guests is Vivace's top priority and of upmost importance to the entire staff. The recent violations that contributed to the negative rating given by the Pima County Health Department do not reflect our organization's commitment to preparing and handling food in the safest and most sanitary manner and environment as possible. This is the first negative rating our restaurant has received in over 21 years of operation. Our management and staff take full responsibility for the negative rating and have immediately taken steps to ameliorate the situation. We assure and guarantee you that these violations will never occur again and will continue to strive for excellence in preparing and handling food to highest sanitary standards possible."
Empalme Mexican Food, at 1104 S. Wilmot Rd., received three critical violations. At the time of the inspections there was no functioning refrigeration units at the facility. Several items tested above the required maximum 41 degrees. Hot dogs temped at 53 degrees, chorizo at 52 degrees and raw steak at 52 degrees. Numerous food items were not date marked.
With violations not corrected during the inspection, Empalme Mexican Food was given a "Needs Improvement" rating.
Restaurants awarded "Excellent" ratings include, Pita Jungle, at 7090 N. Oracle Rd., Carlota's Authentic Mexican Cuisine, at 15930 N. Oracle and Canyon Ranch at 8600 E. Rockcliff Rd..
To see inspection reports on eating establishments we feature, go to kvoa.com and click on "Kitchen Cops".