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Nov 7, 2013 11:55 PM by Sean Mooney

Kitchen Cops: Inspector puts the freeze on multi purpose ice machine

Pima County Health Inspectors relentless in their mission to make sure the food you eat when dining out is safe.

Halong Bay Restaurant, at 7245 E. Tanque Verde, received five critical violations. The inspector found styrofoam containers holding blended drinks stored in an ice machine. The ice in the machine was also being put in drinks served in the restaurant. A vegetable chopper encrusted with food residue was stored as clean. Food tested above the maximum 41 degrees with raw eggs at 45-degrees, raw chicken 45 degrees and cooked shrimp temped at 45 degrees. with more than four critical violations Halong Bay Restaurant was given a "Provisional" rating.

Halong Bay Owner, Trieu Nguyen, released the following statement, "I have owned and operated this restaurant more than 10 years. This is the first time I received the citation. As the owner, I know the customer's health and safety is very important. I take the rules and regulations very seriously. Therefore, I immediately took actions to correct all the problems. The refrigeration has been corrected to the required temperature, the food storage has been organized and labeled according to the safe food storage guidelines, all the ice from ice machine has been taken out and the ice machine has been cleaned and sanitized, all employees have been given additional training."

Los Portales, at 2615 S. 6th Ave., received seven critical violations. Raw eggs were found stored over ready to eat shredded cheese. Raw foods must be stored below ready to eat food. A dough mixer was observed with dried food debris encrusted on it. Food stored in refrigeration units tested above the maximum 41 degrees with refried beans at 46 degrees, abondigas soup at 47 degrees and raw eggs at 53 degrees. With more than four critical violations Los portales was given a "Provisional" rating.

Los Portales management released a statement saying, "Los Portales is in its 6th year in business, we have never received a violation of this magnitude before. The violation was not necessary, we have always been in compliance, always complied with their recommendations."

Restaurants awarded "Excellent" ratings include, Hotel Congress, at 311 E. Congress, Don Pedro's Peruvian Bistro, at 3386 S. 6th Ave. and The Keg Steakhouse and Bar, at 12005 N. Oracle.

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