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Restaurant inspection update: Dusty chicken, cockroach coleslaw and moldy beef

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During a Dec, 19 inspection, Oasis Wine, Spirits and Groceries at 1401 Buchanan St. in Des Moines was cited for 13 violations, including moldy food and a cockroach infestation. (Photo via Google Earth)

State, city and county food inspectors have cited Iowa restaurants and stores for hundreds of food-safety violations during the past four weeks, including moldy roast beef, cockroach infestations, months-old cheese, mouse droppings and food that was contaminated by construction dust.

The findings are reported by the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals, which handles food-establishment inspections at the state level. Listed below are some of the more serious findings that stem from inspections at Iowa restaurants, stores, schools, hospitals and other businesses over the past four weeks.

The state inspections department reminds the public that their reports are a “snapshot” in time, and violations are often corrected on the spot before the inspector leaves the establishment. For a more complete list of all inspections, along with additional details on each of the inspections listed below, visit the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals’ website.

Kentucky Fried Chicken, 3927 Center Point NE Road, Cedar Rapids – On Dec. 20, an inspector arrived at the restaurant in response to a complaint alleging the establishment was in full food-service operation during a remodel and that food was left unprotected from construction dust and other contaminants. The complaint was deemed verified.

Although much of the inspector’s written report is fragmentary and indecipherable, the report states “the cardboard of food (containers) and items next to the cooked chicken” were collecting dust from the construction that was underway. The report also indicates the fried chicken in the warmers and the hot-holding units were exposed to construction dust, and that individually wrapped cake and cookies were packaged with dust debris in them.

The Kentucky Fried Chicken located at 3927 Center Point NE Road in Cedar Rapids. (Photo via Google Earth)

The two handwashing sinks for the staff were soiled with debris of some kind and single-use items such as utensils and plastic bags were stored on dust-coated shelves.

“Very tiny plastic protection is torn, and dust enters the shelving in the kitchen,” the inspector reported. “Chicken are dusty.”

Floor tiles were broken or missing, allowing soiled water and debris to pool there, creating an area where pests might congregate. “The walls and floor in the kitchen are not maintained in good repair,” the inspector reported. “The floor in the walk-in chicken cooler is with dark debris buildup, soiled from foot traffic. The floor under all equipment is soiled.”

The restaurant owner was informed that he had failed to notify, as required, the Linn County Public Health Department of plans to remodel the business. The owner agreed to close until food service could resume with adequate protection from construction dust.

The restaurant’s most recent prior routine inspection was in March 2021, when it was cited for seven violations including an overall lack of sanitation.

Happy Joe’s Pizza, 315 Church St., Ottumwa – During a Dec. 16 visit, an inspector concluded the person in charge had inadequate knowledge of food safety and was not performing their duties as evidenced by the lack of employee training, the handwashing practices, the risk of cross-contamination, the lack of temperature control for food items and the failure to sanitize food-contact surfaces.

The inspector watched as several employees “washed” their hands by dipping them in a bucket of soap and bleach. In addition, macaroni and cheese was measured at 84 degrees after two hours inside a walk-in cooler, hot marinara sauce was measured at 116 degrees, and hot cheese sauce was measured at 114 degrees. All of the items were discarded.

Cold items, such as tomatoes, bacon and lettuce, were measured at 44 to 51 degrees, above the 41-degree maximum for cold holding. In addition, the staff was seen wiping the cutting board, pizza cutter and tongs with a paper towel between uses rather than cleaning them.

The inspector noted multiple holes in the walls of the dough-prep room where multiple live and dead cockroaches and ant-like insects were seen. The cockroaches and insects were also observed in a storage room, the ware-washing area and the ice cream area.

Part of a food-prep cooler was soiled with a buildup of debris, as were the dishwasher, the shelves in the walk-in cooler, and the shelves in the ware-washing area. There was also a “large hole in the floor” near the ware-washing area.

The floors in the kitchen, and the floors and walls in the dough-prep room, were soiled with a buildup of debris, as were the door, floors and walls of the walk-in cooler. The inspection was triggered by a non-illness complaint pertaining to pests. The complaint was deemed verified.

Red Lobster, 3040 Dial Drive, Council Bluffs – During a Jan. 3 visit, an inspector cited the restaurant for the lack of any sanitizing solution in the three-compartment sink used to clean glassware. Also, a vegetable dicer was visibly soiled with food debris.

The inspector also made note of a dead cockroach near the clean glasses in the bar area, and a dead cockroach in the food-preparation area. In addition, there were multiple dead cockroaches in the dry-storage room.

Also, there was a buildup of food debris on the floor in the dish area, food-service line, cook line, preparation line, dry-storage area and the bar area.

The inspection was in response to a non-illness complaint concerning pest control. The complaint was deemed verified.

Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt, 2105 Ingersoll Ave., Des Moines – During a Jan. 17 visit, an inspector noted that not all of the people designated as “in charge” at the restaurant were certified food protection managers.

Also, a set of pipes beneath a sink was leaking water, and a sanitizer bucket was stored in the establishment’s dedicated handwashing sink. Three paint buckets were stored next to an open case of single-use yogurt spoons.

The inspection was triggered by two separate non-illness complaints pertaining to contamination and general facility sanitation. The complaints were deemed verified.

Azteca 3 Mexican Restaurant, 2400 Spruce Hills Drive, Bettendorf – During a Jan. 13 visit, an inspector cited the establishment for 15 violations, an unusually high number. The inspector found that employees were not washing their hands between tasks and moved from handling raw steak to handling ready-to-eat food items.

The inspector noted that a pan of red sauce was stored directly on the floor of a walk-in cooler. In addition, shredded chicken prepared the day before was still holding at 50 degrees and rice prepared the day before was measured at 47 degrees. Both items had to be discarded.

The inspector also found that the chlorine sanitizer solution was too weak to effectively sanitize dishes; the interior of the refrigerated drawers had an excess buildup of food debris; and there was no hot water at one handwashing sink while another handwashing sink was clogged with tomatoes and other food products.

The visit was in response to an illness complaint. In his written report, the inspector noted that “several foodborne illness risk factors were observed,” but gave no indication was to whether the complaint was deemed verified.

Amigo’s Mexican Restaurant, 1415 E. San Marnan, Waterloo – During a Jan. 12 visit, an inspector noted the restaurant had no one on staff certified as a food protection manager. The business was cited for 10 violations, with the inspector noting that beans prepared earlier that same morning had to be discarded as they were not cooling under refrigeration and were still holding at 70 degrees. Other, unspecified items also had to be discarded as they were measured at 67 to 70 degrees.

In addition, the ice machine had a “buildup” of some unspecified nature, as did the nozzles of the soda-dispensing guns. Also, the hot water for a handwashing sink in the kitchen had been turned off.

In November 2021, the establishment was cited for 14 violations, with the inspector noting that the handwashing sink was unable to reach the minimum of 100 degrees; a large pot of queso was left to cool while sitting uncovered on the floor of the kitchen, and an extra-large pot of queso was holding at 76 to 82 degrees and had to be discarded.

Also, employees were not washing their hands; a majority of the food in the walk-in cooler lacked any preparation dates, so their discard date was uncertain; some prepared foods had been held for more than the maximum seven days; the inside of the ice machine was heavily soiled with visible mold growth; there was no sanitizing solution in the food-prep area to wipe down cutting boards and utensils; and there was no one on site who was familiar with food-safety regulations.

Sodexo at Wesley Life: Meals on Wheels, 944 18th St., Des Moines – During a Jan. 18 visit, an inspector noted that frozen, precooked chicken had been moved directly to a hot-holding unit and was measured at 87 degrees, indicating it couldn’t reach the minimum temperature of 165 degrees within the required two hours.

In addition, chicken in the oven was measured at 110 degrees. Both batches of chicken were then reheated to 165 degrees. The inspector also noted that handwashing sinks throughout the facility could not reach the minimum temperature of 100 degrees.

Kimberly Entertainment, 2902 E. Kimberly Road, Davenport – During a Jan. 11 visit, an inspector noted that the person in charge was not a certified food protection manager and “could not answer questions on proper food temperatures or date markings.” Several prepared food items in the establishment were not date marked to ensure safety. Taco meat had been held more than the maximum seven days.

 

A customer alleged they had ordered food to go from the restaurant and found a cockroach inside their coleslaw container.

– Inspector's report on The Filling Station in Davenport

Mister K’s Bar & Grill, 146 Jackson St., Thompson – During a Jan. 11 visit, an inspector determined the establishment was operating without the required license. Also, the business did not employ a certified food protection manager.

Old West Mexican Restaurant, 4138 Fleur Drive, Des Moines – During a Jan. 10 visit, the inspector noted that the tamales in the restaurant’s walk-in cooler had been made at a private residence, which is prohibited. The tamales were removed from the establishment. The inspector also noted that the ice machine near the bar area was heavily soiled. The restaurant was last inspected in October 2019, according to the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals.

Red Ginger, 793 Middle Road, Bettendorf – During a Jan. 10 visit, the inspector determined the person in charge failed to ensure that workers were properly washing their hands and using gloves. Workers were observed breading raw shrimp, then rinsing their hands in a bucket of water, then handling ready-to-eat food without proper handwashing.

Also, raw shrimp and other raw seafood was stored above fresh produce in the walk-in cooler, and raw beef was touching the cooked shrimp in the sushi area. In addition, the restaurant did not have the required documentation on hand related to parasite destruction for raw sushi ingredients, which was a repeat violation.

Azteca Mexican Restaurant, 4811 N. Brady St., Davenport – During a Jan. 9 visit, an inspector cited the establishment for having no certified food protection manager on staff, which was a repeat violation. In fact, the restaurant reportedly had no certified food protection manager on staff for all of 2022, resulting in several repeat citations.

Also, the inspector observed “a small accumulation of mouse-like droppings” in the dry-storage area of the restaurant. He also made note of queso in the steam table that was measured at only 112 degrees and had to be reheated and then returned to the hot-holding unit.

In addition, the walk-in cooler was observed holding temperature-sensitive foods at up to 48 degrees, which was too warm to ensure food safety, and so several items within the unit had to be discarded – another repeat violation. The inspector also reported that most of the food items in the walk-in cooler – such as beans, queso, chicken and peppers – were not properly date marked, which was a repeat violation.

The inspector returned the next day, on Jan. 10, and because of the “persistent issue with proper cold holding,” the business was placed on a risk-control plan and told to keep a daily temperature log for the walk-in cooler over the next several weeks.

Bickford Cottage Assisted Living, 4040 E. 55th St., Davenport – During a Jan. 9 visit, an inspector noted that the person in charge “could not answer basic food-safety questions regarding cooling, cross contamination, and sanitizing food-contact surfaces.”

The inspector cited the assisted-living center for mixing ground meat with whole cuts of meat while thawing; for having two containers of soup on hand that had no date markings to ensure their safety; and for using the handwashing sink to clean kitchen items. The inspector also noted that sanitizing solution being used was “far too concentrated and potentially harmful.”

Hy-Vee Gas, 1421 1st E. Ave., Newton – During a Jan. 9 visit, an inspector found that the store did not employ a certified food protection manager. Also, the baked ziti that was on hand had an internal temperature of 128 degrees, and two containers of chicken tenders had internal temperatures as low as 118 degrees, which was too cool to ensure food safety. The ziti and the chicken were discarded. In addition, the handwashing sink was being used instead to store “a chemical bucket.”

The Machine Shed, 7250 Northwest Blvd., Davenport — During a Jan. 9 visit, an inspector found raw chicken breasts that were stored above containers of cooked ham and stuffing, and raw beef steaks that were stored above a container of prepared chicken salad, risking cross-contamination.

Also, a pan of waffle batter was sitting in melted ice and was measured at 49 degrees, too warm to ensure food safety, and a pan holding shredded cheeses and pooled eggs were holding the food 52 to 56 degrees. This violation, related to cold-holding temperatures, had been noted in a previous inspection.

In addition, the reach-in compartment of the salad-preparation cooler was holding chopped lettuce at 46 degrees, garlic in an oil mixture at 47 degrees, and bleu cheese crumbles at 47 degrees. The food was moved to another refrigerator that was capable of holding food at 41 degrees or below.

The inspector also found a pan of prepared prime rib from Dec. 31, and containers of black bean salad and pasta salad from Jan. 2 – all of which were past their seven-day shelf life and had to be discarded.

In addition, a food slicer had dried food debris on it from the previous day; various equipment was not properly disassembled, washed, rinsed and sanitized after use; a knife on the magnetic knife rack had dried food debris on it; a pan in the “clean dishes” rack had food crumbs on it, and a bin to store utensils had a buildup of food debris.

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Willie D’s, 400 Country Club Road, Algona – During a Jan. 6 visit, an inspector found that the restaurant had been operating without a license and that it did not employ a certified food protection manager as required. In addition, none of the food items in the coolers were date-marked to ensure food safety.

La Victoria, 1140 E. 9th St., Des Moines – During a Jan. 5 visit, an inspector determined that the staff of the store/restaurant lacked the required knowledge of food-safety regulations as evidenced by the number of serious violations and by the staff’s inability to answer questions regarding time and temperature controls to ensure the safe handling of food. The establishment was cited for 14 violations, an unusually high number.

The citations included failure to employ a certified food protection manager; failure to have a handwashing sink in the kitchen; failure to have soap and paper towels in the bathroom; failure to ensure that all foods came from approved sources and were unadulterated; failure to ensure that safe holding temperatures for foods were maintained, and failure to train food workers in basic food safety.

In addition, the inspector found four packages of chorizo that were “bulging” and which had an “objectionable odor.” The inspector also found a bag of shredded cheese that was “visibly molded.” Also, the staff was unable to identify the source of mushrooms that were found in unlabeled bags.

Numerous food items – including cheese, cheddar quesadilla blend, queso, hot dogs, bacon, tamales and yogurt – were all being held in a cooler at temperatures above the 41-degree maximum. In the meat display cooler, multiple packages of raw bacon were measured at 46 to 47 degrees. All of the food had to be discarded, as did an assortment of cut cantaloupe that was not marked with a preparation date.

In addition, multiple food items throughout the business were not properly labeled, including what appeared to be repackaged spices, mushrooms, snack mixes, cheeses and sliced deli meats. The items lacked any labeling as to their brand names, ingredients and allergens.

The inspector also concluded the business was preparing and selling fully prepared, hot and unpackaged foods without the required restaurant license. In addition, the business was not displaying its previous inspection report for public viewing.

The inspector reported that the business’ retail-food license was limited in scope due to a previously issued citation, in November 2021, for a non-functioning walk-in cooler. Despite that restriction, the owner continued to store temperature-sensitive food in the broken walk-in cooler and had expanded the business beyond the scope of his approved license.

The business had not been inspected between November 2021, when the owner was warned not to expand the store into restaurant operations, and the recent Jan. 5 visit.

Paws & Pints, 6218 Willowmere Drive, Des Moines – During a Jan. 5 visit, an inspector cited the establishment for storing raw ground beef above hot dogs in the cooler, risking cross-contamination. Also, the inspector found queso, pork, and cheese that were holding at 62 to 84 degrees, which was far too cool to ensure food safety. The items were discarded.

The inspector also found macaroni that was dated Dec. 14, 2022, and which had to be discarded. In addition, there were “numerous” other foods, such as sauces for wings, that had been held past the maximum seven days and which had to be discarded, and there was no soap at the kitchen’s handwashing sink. The inspector noted that the business has a variance that allows dogs within the premises, excluding the interior bar, dining room and kitchen.

 

Shredded cheese, sausage, and roast beef were all visibly adulterated with mold-like substances. Bags of mozzarella cheese, one dated May 2022, seven months prior to the date of the inspection, were bulging and infused with a mold-like substance. Multiple dead roaches were observed throughout the facility.

– Inspector's findings at Oasis Wine, Spirits & Groceries in Des Moines

Cool Basil, 1250 86th St., Clive – During a Dec. 30 visit, an inspector cited the restaurant for violations related to washing and sanitizing items. The inspector observed employees moving between tasks without washing their hands, even when moving from dishwashing to the preparation of vegetables.

In addition, raw chicken was washed in one well of a ware-washing sink while soiled dishes were cleaned in the adjacent well of the sink, with food debris “splashing” into the well with the chicken. Also, cooked tofu was measured at 91 degrees and cooked chicken was measured at 108 degrees – both of which were too cool to ensure food safety. The tofu and the chicken were discarded.

The inspection was in response to an illness complaint. The restaurant’s manager indicated three or four kitchen workers had called in sick recently, but he was unaware of their symptoms. The complaint was deemed unverified.

Las Palmas Bar & Grill, 321 E. 2nd St., Ottumwa – During a Dec. 30 visit, an inspector cited the restaurant for employees failing to wash their hands and for eating and drinking in the kitchen area where food preparation took place.

The inspector reported finding a container of unspecified food inside the walk-in cooler that was soiled with a buildup of a mold-like substance. The inspector also found multiple jalapeño peppers that had a mold-like substance on them. Also, beef was being held at 120 degrees and had to be reheated to 165 degrees to ensure safety.

In addition, the wall behind the three-compartment sink was soiled with a buildup of debris and the floors in several areas – including the walk-in cooler and the meat-prep area – were soiled with a buildup of debris.

Pho 888, 1521 2nd Ave., Des Moines – During a Dec. 29 visit, an inspector found more than 20 cans of various foods — including quail eggs, coconut cream, coconut milk, sardines, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots and coconut meat – that were severely dented and needed to be discarded. Also, a container of raw pork in marinade was stored above a container of cooked shrimp inside the walk-in cooler, risking cross-contamination.

Roasted spices and seeds were observed being held at 120 degrees, and the fat and oil extracted from broth was being held at 77 degrees. The oil was discarded, and the spices and seeds were placed in a freezer.

The inspector also found several plates of sprouts that were holding between 45 and 60 degrees, and which had to be discarded. He also found sausage that measured 52 degrees and had to be discarded. In addition, vegetable peelers, knives, and other utensils were visibly soiled while sitting in the “clean utensil” drawer.

The inspector reported that numerous foods — including cooked meats, cooked broths, sprouts and noodles — had been left to cool at room temperature. Rodent droppings were seen in the interior cabinets of the dining room and the beverage-preparation area, at the edges of dining booths, and under the storage shelves in the dry-storage area.

Shelves throughout the establishment were visibly soiled with accumulated debris. In addition, the floors and walls throughout the entire establishment were visibly soiled with accumulated debris, and the kitchen ventilation hood was heavily soiled with accumulated grease.

The inspection was prompted by a non-illness complaint regarding pest control. The complaint was deemed verified.

The Filling Station, 305 E. 35th St., Davenport – During a Dec. 19 visit, an inspector reported that a pan of cooked chicken breasts was holding at 79 degrees and a pan of fried chicken wings was measured at 123 degrees, well below the 135-degree minimum and a repeat violation. In addition several temperature-sensitive cold foods — coleslaw, cottage cheese, lettuce and shredded cheese – were measured at 45 to 52 degrees, too warm to ensure safety, and another repeat violation.

Also, several pans of pre-portioned deli meats and taco meat had no date markings, which was a repeat violation. Dicing equipment stored on a shelf for clean utensils was visibly soiled with food debris, and a portion of the ice machine had a buildup of grime. The inspector also noted that the staff’s access to a handwashing sink was blocked by a trash can.

The inspector saw mouse droppings in several areas surrounding a dry-storage area inside the kitchen and spotted more droppings along the edge of one wall and along the bottom shelves of the dry-storage units. “All droppings need to be removed and areas need to be cleaned and sanitized,” the inspector reported.

On Jan. 6, the inspector returned and reported that the business had cleaned the bottom shelf of the dry-storage shelving unit and had placed a new “trap” of some kind in the corner.

On Jan. 13, the inspector returned in response to a non-illness complaint from a customer who alleged they had ordered food to go from the restaurant and found “a cockroach inside of their coleslaw container.”

The inspector noted the restaurant had a regular pest control provider treating the building for both mice and cockroach activity. The pest control company’s Jan. 12 report stated that “less pest activity was noted” at that time.

“No live cockroaches were observed during today’s inspection, but there is evidence that cockroaches have been in the facility,” the inspector reported. He then deemed the complaint unverified.

Oasis Wine, Spirits and Groceries, 1401 Buchanan St., Des Moines – During A Dec. 19 visit to this retail store that also cooked and served pizza, an inspector cited the business for 13 violations, an unusually high number.

Among the problems: A container of shredded cheese, a container of sausage, and a container of roast beef were all “visibly adulterated with what appeared to be multiple mold-like substances.” Inside a walk-in cooler, two separate bags of mozzarella cheese, one dated May 2022, seven months prior to the date of the inspection, were each infused with a mold-like substance and the bags were bulging. The inspector also found a bulging bag of diced red onion that was visibly adulterated with mold-like substance and emitting an objectionable odor.

The inspector reported that the store was bagging its own ice and that both the ice and the bags at the retail display area were visibly adulterated with debris. The store agreed to discard all of the bagged ice and agreed to discontinue selling ice until the machine had been cleaned and sanitized.

The inspector checked the temperature of the hot, personal-pan pizzas on sale in the store and they measured 109 degrees to 118 degrees – too cool to ensure their safety. The boneless wings on sale in the store were measured at 127 degrees, and the chicken tenders at 119 degrees. The pizzas, wings and chicken tenders were discarded. Also discarded were the undated sliced ham, roast beef and cooked chicken in the kitchen’s food-preparation area.

While reviewing the food-preparation area, the inspector found a container of cheese that was adulterated with what appeared to be a mold-like substance. “It appears the firm placed fresh cheese directly on the adulterated cheese in this container, co-mingling both cheeses,” the inspector reported.

The store, the inspector reported, “was not sanitizing equipment, utensils and food-contact surfaces … What appeared to be live roaches were observed on the exterior of the ice machine and in the rear hallway leading to the walk-in coolers.” The store agreed to halt all food preparation and production until its three-compartment sink, which couldn’t be used to sanitize items, was repaired.

The inspector also made note of the fact that automotive chemicals and supplies — including brake fluid, motor oil, and carburetor cleaner — were stored above packaged cases of bottled waters and marinades on a retail display shelf.

A pipe was draining water directly onto the floor near a mop sink, and there was food debris throughout the establishment, along with unused pieces of equipment. “What appeared to be multiple dead roaches were observed throughout the facility, including on shelving throughout the kitchen,” the inspector reported.

Despite the pest problem, pizza boxes were being stored directly on the floor in the kitchen, the inspector stated, and the most recent inspection report had not been posted for public viewing.

The inspection was prompted by a non-illness complaint pertaining to pest control and the expansion of the store’s food service beyond the scope of its license. The complaint was deemed verified. The store agreed to voluntarily halt the sale of all unpackaged and prepared food given the inability to sanitize items and the pest-control issues. The store was allowed to keep the retail side of its business open so it could continue to sell prepackaged foods.

Fazoli’s, 3600 Merle Hay Road, Des Moines – At the beginning of this Dec. 16 inspection, the manager was unable to demonstrate for the inspector how the three-well sink should be used by the staff to clean and sanitize items. The inspector reported that the person in charge at the restaurant was not ensuring the staff was sanitizing food-contact equipment, washing their hands between tasks, dating foods to ensure their safety, monitoring temperatures for holding food, or preventing the contamination of food product.

Frozen, cooked dough that was marked “keep frozen” had been dropped off at the site sometime prior to 6 a.m., but was still sitting on the kitchen floor with no temperature monitoring later that afternoon. The staff was unable to explain the source for raw eggs in the cooler after noting that eggs were not on the menu or purchased by the restaurant.

Also, the staff had to discard two boxes of breadsticks that were stored directly on the floor and in contact with cleaning solutions, as well as cooked sausages that had been left sitting inside pans at 103 degrees. In addition, the establishment’s most recent inspection report was not posted for public viewing.

Burger King, 4801 NE 14th St., Des Moines – During this Dec. 15 visit, the restaurant was cited for eight violations, including the lack of a certified food protection manager. When the inspector noticed that employees were not washing their hands for at least 20 seconds between tasks and were instead washing their hands under running water for a few seconds, he intervened. In response, one of the employees laughed and resumed working in the kitchen.

Inside a walk-in cooler, the inspector found sliced ham that was measured at 55 degrees and shredded cheese that was measured at 44 degrees, both of which had to be discarded. In addition, sliced tomatoes, lettuce and sliced cheese were not properly marked with the time they were removed from the refrigerator, which meant the staff was unable to say whether they remained safe to use.

The inspector also noted two stacks of beverage cups that were directly on the floor after falling from a shelf. Also, a complete copy of the most recent routine inspection report was not posted for public viewing, and instead only the first page of the most recent report was posted in an area behind the front counter and above eye level.

The inspection was in response to two non-illness complaints. One complaint involved pest control, which was deemed unverified, and one pertained to the personal hygiene of the staff, which was deemed verified. One of the complaints also alleged violations related to equipment and cross-contamination, which was not verified.

During five separate inspections in 2022, the restaurant was cited for a total of 35 violations. During a September 2022 inspection that resulted in 12 citations for violations, the inspector noted that the restaurant had failed to submit a response to a previously issued warning letter from the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals. Because the business had not responded to the warning letter, the inspector discussed with the staff the long-term corrective action that was needed to address the repeat violations.

DSM Food Mart, 2829 Easton Blvd., Des Moines – During a Dec. 14 visit, an Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals inspector noted that the ice produced by the store’s soda fountain was visibly soiled with what appeared to be rust and debris. An inspection of the ice machine revealed that the interior of it had an accumulation of debris and rust. The soda fountain was removed from operation and the staff indicated it would not be used until rusted screws had been removed and the unit was cleaned and sanitized.

The inspector also noted that the handwashing sink in the kitchen could not produce any hot water and was not stocked with paper towels as required. The store’s food-service license and its retail-store license had expired more than 60 days prior to the inspection, the inspector noted.

He returned to the store one month later, on Jan. 12, and found many of the same violations. The handwashing sink in the kitchen still couldn’t produce hot water, and the soda fountain had been put back in service while still dispensing ice soiled with rust and debris. In addition, a package of taquitos and fried chicken were visibly adulterated with a mold-like substance.

At that time, the person in charge drained the ice machine and placed a sign on it indicating it was “out of order” and again agreed not to use it until the rusted screws had been removed and the unit was cleaned and sanitized. The inspector reported that he spoke to the owner on the phone and was told the store was in the process of changing ownership from Gorkha Brothers Inc.

The post Restaurant inspection update: Dusty chicken, cockroach coleslaw and moldy beef appeared first on Iowa Capital Dispatch.

Authorities have arrested an Elma, Iowa, man after remains of a missing person were found at his home. Jonathan Esparza, 30, was last seen Oct 20, 2022. His remains were discovered during a search of a home in Elma, Iowa, in November 2022. On Friday, deputies charged Sayvonne Eugene Jordan with murder in Esparza’s death.

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