Food temperatures, cleanliness problems found at 2 lowest scoring Knox County restaurants

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – The two restaurants with low health grades this week passed their semi-annual inspections, but both places will require a follow-up because of critical violations that could lead to foodborne illness if not corrected.

Don Gallo, 10681 Hardin Valley Road – Grade: 80

The inspector wrote that he watched the cook touch ready-to-eat food with his bare hands. The cook should have been wearing gloves.

There was no hot water at the kitchen hand sink. There is supposed to be so employees can properly wash their hands. Also, the soap dispenser at that employee hand sink was broken and there was no bar of soap left behind.

When the inspector checked cooked chicken that had been in the cooler overnight, it was at 44 degrees, but 41 and below is the required temperature to slow the growth of bacteria.

When the inspector asked management and employees about the state health policy rules, no one could provide any answers. They’re required to be familiar with some of the symptoms of illness.

Web Extra: Read this week’s full inspection reports [PDF]

Hooters, 5005 Central Avenue Pike – Grade: 83

That’s a passing grade, but there are critical risk factors noted in the report. Food temperatures were off for one thing. Diced tomatoes were at 54 degrees and sliced tomatoes were at 53 degrees, but 41 and below is required so no one gets sick.

When she checked pots and pans put away as being clean, the inspector found food debris on them. She also said shelves were dirty on which the food equipment was placed and there was food debris all over the kitchen floor. Obviously, some cleaning up was needed here.

Top Scores of the Week

  • La Parrilla Mexican Grill, 11639 Parkside Drive – Grade: 100
  • Hana Sushi & Hibachi, 11145 Kingston Pike – Grade: 100
  • P.F. Chang’s, 6741 Kingston Pike – Grade: 100
  • Nick & J’s Cafe, 1526 Lovell Road – Grade: 100
  • Buddy’s BBQ, 121 West End Drive – Grade: 100
  • Buddy’s BBQ, 8402 Kingston Pike – Grade: 100
  • The Lunch Box, 1225 Weisgarber Road – Grade: 100
  • La Fiesta Mexican, 5707 Western Avenue – Grade: 100
  • Golden Garden, 5737 Western Avenue – Grade: 100
  • The Pint House, 815 Merchant Drive – Grade: 100
  • Taco Bell, 411 Merchant Drive – Grade: 100
  • Fleming’s Steakhouse, 11287 Parkside Drive – Grade: 99

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