Critical health inspection violations at 2 Knoxville taco shops

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Two taco restaurants have the lowest health inspection grades of the week.

The two restaurants have the same grades and similar violations. Those risk factors will require corrective action and a follow-up inspection.

Potrillo’s, 11151 Kingston Pike – Grade: 73

In Farragut, Potrillo’s Taqueria passing grade, but food temperatures were a problem.

Cooked pork was not being held at the safe cool temperature of 41 degrees. The pork had been left overnight for six hours at 46 degrees which is warm enough speed up the growth of bacteria.

Raw chicken in the preparation unit at 45 degrees was too warm as well, it should have been a 41 and below. Part of the problem, according to the report, was that the thermometer in the cooler was not accurate.

The inspector writes there was no useable hand sink in the kitchen. That is a problem since kitchen workers are required to wash their hands frequently.

Also, there was no hot water at the front area hand sink. Under the rules, hot water is required to adequately wash up.

Some ready-to-eat food was also found without date marks. Food held over for 24 hours in the refrigerator must have a date on it — when it was first used — and must be used with seven days to fight listeria.

Also, at Potrillo’s a pesticide was found above the dishwasher. Chemicals are supposed to be kept in a separate area to prevent any accidents.

A cleaning spray bottle was not labeled. It’s supposed to have a label on it, so you know what’s inside of it.

Oscar’s Taco Shop, 2121 Cumberland Avenue – Grade: 73

Oscar’s Taco on Cumberland Avenue also received a passing grade, but there were several critical violations. Here too some ready-to-eat food was found without date marks on them so there was no way to know whether the date of best use had expired.

Shrimp was found thawing in the hand sink. That’s the wrong place. Under health regulations, frozen food is supposed to be thawed at 41 degrees in the refrigerator Also, prepared food was found stored on the floor in the walk-in cooler.

Hot food temperatures were off. Cooked rice was not at 135 degrees as required and cooked beans in the refrigerator for over six hours were too warm at 44 degrees. Again, the thermometer was found not to be accurate.

Oscar’s Taco Shop will be re-inspected in a few weeks.

More online: Read this week’s full inspection reports [PDF]

No follow-up will be necessary at restaurants that received excellent grades.

Top Scores of the Week:

  • Pei Wei, 11301 Parkside Drive – Grade: 100
  • Honeybee Coffee, 10716 Kingston Pike – Grade: 100
  • Yassin’s Falafel House, 706 Walnut Street – Grade: 100
  • Chipotle Mexican Grill, 204 Advantage Place – Grade: 100
  • Lenny’s Sub Shop, 150 Lovell Road – Grade: 100
  • Pelancho’s Mexican Grill, 1516 Downtown West Blvd. – Grade: 99
  • Senor Cactus Mexican, 7811 Oak Ridge Highway – Grade: 99
  • Which Wich, 9271 Kingston Pike – Grade: 99
  • Joe Mug’s, 8507 Kingston Pike – Grade: 99
  • McDonald’s, 5260 Millertown Pike – Grade: 99
  • Cracker Barrel, 9214 Park West Blvd. – Grade: 99
  • The Tomato Head, 12 Market Square – Grade: 98

If you notice a violation, politely let the manager know.

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