The Main Stream

Aug 24, 2012 1:50 AM by Sean Mooney

Kitchen Cops

TUCSON - When dining at an upscale resort and spa the last thing you want to endure is unwanted guests. But that is what a Pima County Health Inspector found at a foothills resort.

Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa received 5 critical violations involving two kitchens on site. The Azul restaurant and banquet kitchens were found to have severe roach infestations. All stages of life were observed. Roaches were sighted under equipment, in drains and in and on walls. At Azul, food was not being stored at the required 41-degrees with cheese items at 50-degrees and higher along with yogurt at 52 degrees. Westin La Paloma, at 3800 E. Sunrise Drive, received needs improvement ratings for both it's Azul and banquet kitchens.

The Resort's spokesman, Richard Brooks said, "We take the inspectors findings and recommendations for improvement very seriously. Since April our resort has been undergoing a full renovation that has impacted structural and aesthetic changes and we are diligently addressing issues and disturbances that arise from the process, including our kitchens. Since, the inspection the kitchens have been placed under complete reconstruction in which all equipment has been moved and sanitized; even the drywall is being pulled and replaced. Additionally, all kitchen and serving staff have undergone or are scheduled for training to reinforce proper kitchen cleaning and management processes."

McDonalds at 3640 W. Tangerine received 3 critical violations. Several racks and trays, stored as clean, had a heavy buildup of grease and food particles on them. Numerous flies were observed in the dining area. At least 20 were in a cart of garbage near a back door. No hot water was available at handwashing sinks near a cookline. Cited violations were not corrected during the inspection giving McDonalds, on West Tangerine, a needs improvement rating.

McDonalds area supervisor, Andy Hutchison said, "We have a very strong commitment to food quality and food safety, and we've had consistently high scores from the health department in the past. We've taken immediate action to resolve the opportunities that were identified in the recent inspection. The subsequent follow up visit from the Health Department resulted in a "pass" score with all concerns being corrected. We will continue to provide our customers the best experience possible when they visit our restaurant."

Restaurants that received excellent ratings this week included, the Fox and Hound Smoke House and Tavern at 7625 N. La Cholla Blvd. , Sakura Teppan Steak and Seafood, at 6534 E. Tanque Verde Road and Bazil's, at 4777 E. Sunrise Drive.

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