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Apr 12, 2013 1:59 AM by Sean Mooney

Kitchen Cops: Lesson needed in meaning of "hands off"

This week Pima County Health Inspector's observed employees who need to learn the meaning of "hands off".

Harvest Moon Chinese Cuisine, at 12125 N. Oracle Rd., received six critical and four non-critical violations. an employee was observed scratching her head and then continuing to prepare food without first washing her hands. Food items in a refrigeration unit tested well over the maximum 41-degrees, with pork at 52-degrees, egg food yung at 50-degrees and cooked beef temped at 56 degrees. Employee's personal food items were found on food contact surfaces. With more than 4 violations not corrected during the inspection, Harvest Moon Chinese Cuisine received a "Provisional" rating.

Owner Wanda Zhang responded by saying, "Harvest Moon Restaurant, owned and operated by renowned Chef Wanda Zhang, has been opened since 1999, and in those 14 years we are proud to have never previously received a single violation, have received numerous awards for our outstanding food, service, ambience and cleanliness, including pima county's "Certificate of Excellence", followed by "Excellent ratings" the past 2 years, and most recently Tucson Lifestyle "Great Restaurant - 2013 award", Explorer newspaper "Best asian food, 1st place winner" for 2012 and 2013, and Urbanspoon's "Best Tucson Restaurants 2013". Wanda immediately corrected these minor violations in less than an hour and Harvest Moon has passed reinspection on an expedited basis. KVOA's viewers are invited to visit the restaurant so that Wanda can personally demonstrate her commitment to cleanliness and an outstanding chinese food experience."

Macayo Del Norte Restaurant, at 7360 N. Oracle Rd., received two critical and three non-critical violations. A waitress was observed playing with her hair and then handling food for customers without first washing her hands. Several food items tested above the maximum 41-degrees with guacamole at 45-degrees, taquito's at 47-degrees and cheese at 50-degrees. Floors, walls, and ceiling throughout the restaurant were noted to be in severe disrepair. All violations were not corrected during the inspection giving Macayo Del Norte, a "Needs Improvement" rating.

Macayo's management responded by saying,"Macayo's takes food safety very seriously which is evident through our historical ratings of only good and excellent. Macayo's is committed to high standards and has already addressed the issues that were cited."

Restaurants awarded excellent ratings include Lucky Wishbone, at 1465 W. Silverlake, Marisco's Chihuahua, at 4185 W. Ina Rd. and El Charo Café, at 7725 N. Oracle Rd.

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