A TACO Bell location has unexpectedly closed after inspectors found a string of health violations at the fast-food restaurant.
When the Washington Street fast-food chain in Amarillo, Texas, was last inspected Thursday, the city’s Environmental Health Department found a leak in the roof.
It has been joked online that the eatery has been closed due to water/sanitary issues, local radio station Mix 94.1 reported, as tacos and burritos are said to cause severe stomach upset.
To reopen, the store location must have the problem fixed, provide an invoice for the repairs, and also pass a white-glove test inspection by the Amarillo Environmental Protection Agency.
Other violations identified by the department include food storage and preparation concerns, ventilation issues, equipment leaks, disruptive mold, improperly stored toxic chemicals and improperly disposed of waste.
The report stated that the inspectors found that rainwater from the roof had spilled onto the food preparation table in the kitchen.
The inspector added that this “contaminated all the food on the line as nothing was covered. All groceries were thrown away at the time of closure.”
They also said: “All necessary repairs must be made and all surfaces must be cleaned and disinfected before the store is allowed to reopen.”
Another inspector noted that the food stored on the fast-food restaurant’s dining table had a “visible layer of ice.”
“This ice could be a potential source of contamination and therefore no ice should come into contact with food. Also, equipment may need to be adjusted to prevent something like this from happening again,” the report said.
Ice was also reportedly forming on Taco Bell groceries in the walk-in freezer.
INCORRECT FOOD PREPARATION
It was noted that in the kitchen fryer, “food was floating in the oil and the oil had turned a very dark brown, almost black color”.
The inspector ordered: “To avoid this, this oil must be changed regularly.”
According to the inspection results, when the health department carried out the inspection, an employee was even found preparing food on the sink.
“Ensure all food is prepared in designated areas to avoid contamination,” the report said.
“During preparation, unpackaged food must be protected from environmental sources of contamination.”
The hood filter and drip pans over the fryers at Taco Bell were reportedly found dirty, “and it was visibly dripping into the fryers.”
An air vent in the fast food restaurant was found to have debris that could contaminate the air where diners dine.
It was also noted that the Taco Bell location’s freezer needed repairs, as an inspector said it was “leaking onto the floor and the Icee machines found mold on the floor.”
An inspector said a spray bottle of toxic chemicals lay on the back of a sink in the Taco Bell location’s kitchen, next to food, because all chemicals “should be stored away from all food.”
While it may be a while before the Taco Bell location reopens, a major competitor to the fast-food restaurant has confirmed that it’s adding a new iconic dish not offered at Taco Bell to its menu.
Texas Taco Bell isn’t the only chain’s location facing major problems, as police say a guest at a Colorado restaurant was hospitalized after allegedly having rat poison put in his food.