Popular Mexican restaurant and a supermarket cited: Food inspections

Harper Ho
York Dispatch

The state Department of Agriculture conducts annual inspections of food-serving businesses to ensure public safety and safe food-handling practices. Schools are inspected twice per year, according to the Bureau of Food Safety and Laboratories.

Whether an establishment is considered compliant or non-compliant is the discretion of the inspector. There are, however, several violations for which inspectors should automatically consider establishments non-compliant. Called "critical violations," they include food temperature issues, employee hygiene and issues with chemicals and how they're handled.

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Depending on the severity of the situation, inspectors and their supervisors could file citations or close an establishment.

Inspected Nov. 23, 2021


  • Food employee observed in cooks line area, wearing a watch on arm.
  • Food employee observed in flat grill area, with extremely soiled apron that may contaminate food and or food equipment. Employee observed wiping food off gloved hand onto apron. Provided training.
  • Open employee's beverage container was observed in front cooks line area, open employee beverage (screw capped variety) in food preparation area.
  • Several employee beverages were stored in direct contact with and on shelving over foods intended for use or sale in the facility.
  • Buckets of sanitizer solution for storage of wiping cloths was not available in any areas of the kitchen.
  • The inspector observed old labels and label residue on most in use food containers/pan and most containers/pans stored as clean.
  • Paper towels dispensing from closed dispenser were wet.
  • Working containers, in kitchen area used for storing sanitizer taken from bulk supplies, were not marked with the common name of the chemical.
  • The inspector observed five gallon bucket of fajita spice unprotected, uncovered in dry storage area which is subject to potential contamination.
  • Refrigerated ready to eat, time and temperature control for safety foods prepared in the food facility and held for more than 24 hours, located inside the walk in cooler, are not being date marked.
  • Wood legs supporting ice machine, in the kitchen area, are not smooth, non-absorbent, corrosion resistant.
  • Temperature measuring device for ensuring water temperature inside heat sanitizing warewashing machine is not available or readily accessible.
  • Both hand wash sinks located in the cooks line area do not have water at a temperature of at least 100°F.
  • Food employee observed wiping gloved hands on apron and continuing food preparation without a proper hand wash in-between.
  • Shredded beef was held at 103 °F, on the stove, rather than 135°F or above as required — voluntarily discarded.
  • Time in lieu of temperature being used in the food facility (pans of food beside the flat grill) to control ready to eat potentially hazardous foods without written procedures or documentation to verify disposition of food.
  • Cleaned and sanitized utensils located in food preparation area, are stored with food contact surfaces, food or lip area exposed to hand contact when retrieved by food employees.
  • Old food residue, dishes and utensils observed in the handwash sink, indicating uses other than handwashing.
  • The handwash sink in the front cooks line area was blocked by half size pan of sliced onions and not accessible at all times for employee use. The handwash sink in the rear cooks line area was blocked by long handled squeegees and not accessible at all times for employee use.
  • Furniture polish and window cleaner stored on shelving with and over foods, food supplies and single use items.
  • The person in charge did not demonstrate adequate knowledge of the PA Food Code as evidenced by incorrect responses to food safety questions related to required water temperature for handwashing, time in lieu of temperature for temperature control for safety foods, and method, testing for proper concentration of chemical sanitizers used within facility.
  • The person in charge does not have adequate knowledge of food safety in this food facility as evidenced by this non-compliant inspection.
  • Tortilla shells removed from original packaging are being stored in plastic printed t-sack bags. It is imperative for safety that food supplies come from sources that are in compliance with laws regarding chemical additives and contaminants. Food additives are substances which by their intended use, become components of food, either directly or indirectly.
  • The inspector observed wiping cloths in extremely unclean condition throughout kitchen area.
  • The wet wiping cloths in cooks line and food preparation areas, not being stored in sanitizer solution.
  • Not enough drainboards or tables to allow for storage of soiled items before cleaning as evidenced by many soiled items on the floor in three basin sink area.
  • The inspector observed clean dish racks stored on the floor in warewashing area.


  • The inspector observed an employee's open beverage container (screw capped variety) on food preparation table located in the deli area.
  • Single-service, single-use articles stored in deli area directly on the floor and not 6 inches above the floor.
  • Food employee observed changing tasks that may have contaminated hands without a proper hand wash in-between.
  • Food Employee observed donning single use gloves without a prior hand wash.
  • There were no chemical sanitizer being used on equipment and utensils after washing and rinsing them and prior to use.
  • A working container of glass cleaner was stored above and in direct contact with or on the same shelf with equipment, and single service articles in the deli area.
  • Spoons and forks used for food preparation are not stored to prevent hand contact with food contact portion of utensil.
  • The inspector observed box of bananas stored directly on the floor under storage shelf in deli area, rather than 6 inches off of the floor as required.
  • Ham luncheon meat was held at 50 °F, in the deli area, rather than 41°F or below as required — voluntarily discarded.
  • Manual warewashing equipment observed with build up of filth and food residue and not cleaned before use and frequently throughout the day.
  • Broom and long handled dustpan stored in deli area supported by food preparation table with potential to contaminate food equipment and utensils.
  • Employee personal items — cell phones, medications, purses — were observed in deli area, and not stored in dressing rooms or identified storage area as required.
  • The person in charge did not demonstrate adequate knowledge of the PA Food Code as evidenced by incorrect responses to food safety questions related to proper ware washing, storage of foods, in use utensil storage, and chemical storage. Provided training.
  • The person in charge does not have adequate knowledge of food safety in this food facility as evidenced by this non-compliant inspection.
  • Food slicer and cheese knife, food contact surfaces, were observed to have food residue and were not clean to sight and touch.

— Reach Harper Ho at hho@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @howdyhoharper.

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