San Marco restaurant cited for nearly 30 violations

Published On: Jul 17 2013 04:07:05 PM EDT   Updated On: Jul 18 2013 06:45:00 AM EDT

La Nopalera is slapped with 12 major violations.


Known for their burritos, tacos and margaritas, La Nopalera Mexican Restaurant on Hendricks Avenue was cited for nearly 30 violations, when inspectors made a visit last week. Of those violations, 12  of them are considered high priority.

Channel 4 wen to the restaurant to find out if the problems inspectors found were fixed, but we had a difficult time getting answers.

"Is a manager here?" asked Channel 4's Ashley Mitchem.
"The manager wen to the store," replied an employee.
"Is there a manager here now?" asked Ashley.
"No, he's coming in like 10 minutes," replied the employee.

Ashley waited and asked a second employee, but the same story, no manager.  She asked a third employee.

"Normally he comes in at 12 or 11:30," answered the employee.
"So nobody here can talk to me? You know if you don't have a manager on staff, that's a violation," said Ashley.

With that, one employee, Pablo Beala came forward to talk, but he didn't have much to say.

"Right now it's good," Beala said.

Inspectors found 12 high-priority violations, like potentially hazardous food. Salsa, sour cream, cheese and beans were all stored at improper temperatures.  That's a violation that can make you sick.

La Nopalera in San Marco was also cited with raw animal food stored over ready to eat food.  For example: raw chicken over tomatoes.

Inspectors also found employees didn't change gloves when they got dirty and the dishwasher wasn't working properly.

Also on the list of violations: a pest problem. While the worker would not let us in the kitchen, inspectors found 15 live roaches on the freezer gaskets and in the prep room area.

"We have two companies every week comes in, one, and another week, it's the other one," said Beala.

Food inspectors returned back to La Noplera three days after the initial inspection last week and found that the restaurant had fixed its problems.


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