News 5 Investigates

Oct 10, 2013 8:15 PM by Eric Ross

News 5 Investigates: Food establishments with critical violations in Pueblo County

Last week on News 5, we featured part one of our "Dirty Dining" report. Now, we're focusing on Pueblo County restaurants and food establishments that could make you and your family sick.

A handful of restaurants are on Pueblo County's radar after repeatedly failing routine and follow-up health inspections.

"We want to help and make sure the food that's here and served to Pueblo citizens is safe and done correctly," health specialist Alejandro Lerma said.

News 5 shadowed Lerma as he checked out various vendors during Pueblo's annual Chile and Frijoles festival in September. No critical violations were found there while our cameras were rolling, so we moved onto the retail food establishments which didn't do so well on inspections over the past two years.

Below is a list of restaurants which were issued citations for having repeat critical violations and were featured in our 10 p.m. report Thursday. For a detailed explanation for all violations, both critical and non-critical, we've posted a link to the Pueblo City-County Health Department's web site at the bottom of this web article.

Alberto's Mexican Restaurant (2322 Lake Avenue)
*Rodent droppings
*Cockroaches found in storage area
*Employees caught not washing their hands
*Employees handling ready-to-eat foods with bare hands
*Food not protected from cross-contamination
PT's Wings and Ribs (1749 S. Pueblo Blvd.)
*Employee handling hamburger buns without first washing hands
*Food stored in the refrigerator was not covered
*Cook did not know when it was appropriate to wash hands and sanitize equipment

Loaf N' Jug #2 (2050 Lake Avenue)
*Excessive mold and dirt accumulation next to self-service soda machine
*Poisonous and toxic chemicals stored near food
*Food held at improper temperatures

Gil's Westside Tavern (2202 West 16th Street)
*Mold found in the soda gun
*Large holes found in the women's restroom
*Cat litter stored next to an ice machine
*Evidence that a cat had been allowed inside the business
*Employees handling ready-to-eat foods with bare hands
News 5 was able to track down the owner who admitted that a cat named Menu had been allowed inside. Gil's was fined $250 and the cat was gone during a follow-up inspection August 2013. The owner has since turned the cat over to his daughter who lives in Pueblo.

Alberto's Mexican Restaurant is the only establishment that has failed to correct all violations during its last routine inspection. All other restaurants and food establishments are now in full compliance with the Pueblo City-County Health Department.

Below is a list of every restaurant fined by the health department since 2012:
Double Deuce: Expired food license; $250
Sports Garden: Expired food license; $250
The Cock & Bull Tavern: Expired food license; $250
Bear Paw Bakery: Expired food license; $250
Alberto's Mexican Restaurant: Expired food license; $500
Steel City Dogs & More: Expired food license; $250
Loaf N' Jug on Lake Avenue: Fined for uncorrected critical violations; $250
Feelin' A-Little Philly (1080 Eagleridge Blvd): Expired food license; $250
Gil's Westside Tavern: Fined for uncorrected critical violations; $250
PT's Wings and Ribs: Fined for uncorrected critical violations; $500
Macarone's Carry Out & Catering: Expired food license; $250
C&C Catering: Expired food license; $250
Manhattan's Pizza: Expired food license; $250

Total number of critical violations found in each restaurant and food establishment since 2012:
The Cock & Bull Tavern: 7
Bear Paw Bakery: 6
Alberto's Mexican Restaurant: 12
Steel Dogs & More: 1
Loaf N' Jug #2: 6
Gil's Westside Tavern: 8
Feelin' A-Little Philly (1080 Eagleridge Blvd): Fined location no longer in business
PT's Wings & Ribs: 9
Manhattan's Pizza Parlor: 5
*Reports for C&C Catering, Macarone's Carry-Out and Catering, Double Deuce and Sports Garden were not available on the Pueblo City-County Health Department's web page.

To check out how your favorite restaurants in Pueblo County performed, visit http://www.healthspace.com/pueblo

 

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