Food for Thought Report 5.19 - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/19/05

Food for Thought Report 5.19

We start with the perfect school inspections in Food for Thought this week. Cavazos Junior High on North University had no critical violations during a surprise health inspection. They are our first top performing school.

Another junior high on 12th street did the same. MacKenzie Junior High is also a top performer.

Last but not least Stewart Elementary kept their kitchen in tip top shape, no critical violations there.

Food for Thought 5.19
Here is a complete list of the restaurants and their violations for the week ending on 5/19/05.

El Jalapeno Restaurant at 5001 I-27 is hot this week, they're our first top performing restaurant with zero critical violations.

We're not lying to you, Pinocchio's Pizza at 5044 Frankford Avenue is a top performer too. It's no fairy tail, Pinocchio's staff kept their location critical violation free.

Our third top performer is a new concept to Lubbock. Steak 2 Go at 3106 50th Street Suite 300 had zero critical violations and they obviously take health and safety very seriously. Co-Owner Brian Merryman says, "We want our food going out healthy. We create a healthy environment in the restaurant and just use the guidelines the city provides us and we follow them to a tee."

The concept behind Steak 2 Go is to deliver quality steaks to homes and businesses in a timely manner and they're tasty! Merryman says, "All our steaks are hand cut, choice cuts of meat. It's tremendous. I'll put it up against any steak around."

Kentucky Fried Chicken at 7823 Slide Road scores a top performance on Food for Thought! KFC's inspection was "finger lickin' good." They had zero critical violations.

Now for a restaurant that is no stranger to Food for Thought, the Lunch House and their fabulous burgers at 1513 East 5th Street are top performers again.

Last but not least, Mamarita's Border Cafe at 6602 Slide Road is our sixth and final top performer.

Now to the other side of Food for Thought, the low performers. Taco Bueno at 4317 50th Street had four critical violations. They were cited for:

  • Improper hot hold of potentially hazardous foods. Beans were held at 132 degrees, and taquitos at 131 degrees. Hot foods must be held at 140 degrees or hotter.
  • Improper storage of drinking containers, and a hand sink used for other purposes led to a violation for improper hygiene.
  • A thermometer was not properly calibrated.
  • Food contact surfaces were not cleaned properly.

All four critical violations were corrected on site. A manager declined to comment.

Rocky Larues at 2420 Broadway is also a low performer this week. Their violations were received for:

  • Soiled ceiling and air conditioning vents above food prep area.
  • Queso not properly date marked.
  • A hand washing sink behind the bar was not supplied with paper towels.
  • A roach was found in food prep area.
  • A soda gun and holster behind bar were soiled.

Four of the five critical violations were corrected on site. A manager at Rocky Larues tells NewsChannel 11 there was not a roach on the floor, it was a leaf. He also says they were practicing proper date marking procedures.

The Little Panda at 908 Slide Road had four critical violations.

  • Eggs not properly stored were found at 50 degrees. Cold foods must be stored at 45 degrees or cooler.
  • Peppers were in a container with a piece of raw chicken and melted ice was dripping onto battered chicken pieces. Both create a cross contamination hazard.
  • Dishes were not being sanitized.
  • Knives, counters and a knife magnet were dirty.

All critical violations were corrected on site. A manager could not be reached for comment.

Choochai Thai Cuisine at 2330 19th Street proved they have nothing to hide and let us inside their kitchen to explain their four critical violations. The first was received for whole eggs stored at 55 degrees. Owner Than Rittiluechai says, "At the time the health department came in, I had a lot of eggs piled up, so now I keep it lower so it will be cooler that way."

Choochai was also cited for cooked rice held at 120 degrees, and egg rolls and cooked cabbage that were not date marked. Than says, "We date mark it now, but we cook it daily. He (the health inspector) said if I do it daily, I don't have to date mark, but I go ahead and do it anyway."

Choochai's last violation was given for a reach in cooler that was missing a thermometer. A thermometer has since been placed in that cooler. Than explains, "We always try to keep clean, but sometimes we get off track a little bit, but it's no excuse. We try to do the best we can."

Wood Ampride at 7822 82nd Street is a convenience store, but they serve a great deal of food too so we thought you should know they're also a low performer. Wood Ampride had five critical violations. They were received for:

  • Cold slicked turkey found at 70 degrees and cold sandwiches found at 58 degrees.
  • Personal drinks stored in an ice cream cooler.
  • Soiled wiping clothes stored on food contact surfaces.
  • Turkey, ham, shredded cheese and beef were not date marked.
  • A hand washing sink was out of paper towels.

All critical violations were corrected on site. A manager told NewsChannel 11 they are open round the clock and strive to keep their standards high for all those 24 hours.

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