Behind the Kitchen Door: Trio of restaurants see high scores tumble

Moldy cheese, improper sanitizing and rat poop top the list of violations

SAN ANTONIO – A trio of restaurants with histories of high health scores saw those numbers tumble into the 70s after recent inspections.

First Stop located in the 2500 block of East Houston Street earned a respectable score of 90 back in December, but when inspectors returned in May this year, they ended up with a 76.

The inspector found eggs and butter that had been left out overnight. Instead of the required temp of 41 degrees or below, those items were measured at 76 degrees. Cheese in the mini fridge had mold on it, so it was thrown out. Food contacted surfaces were covered in grease and food residue. A calcium lime rust chemical was on the food prep counter and there was rat fecal matter in the cabinet under the soda fountain. According to the report, four of the violations were corrected on site but the business still earned a re-inspection.

El Taco Rodeo de Jalisco in the 8800 block of Potranco Road came in with a score of 79, a big drop from its past two inspections which earned them a 98 last summer and a 96 earlier this year.

Proper cleaning methods led to the low score this time around. The inspector noting the sanitizing compartment where dishes are washed didn’t have the proper amount of bleach and it was way too high in another area used for cloth towels used by waitresses. There was a leaky pipe in the kitchen draining into a bucket of cloth towels used for cleaning and the inspector saw employees using towels to wipe down dirty surfaces without placing them in the sanitizing solution. They were ordered to be re-inspected.

Hacienda Vallarta in the 9800 block of Marbach Road saw its previous scores of 91 and 90 take a dive down to 79.

An employee was using bare hands to cut onions and there were live flies in the kitchen. Also noted was raw shrimp, fish and eggs sitting on shelves above cooked and ready-to eat-foods. Two of the violations were repeats earning the business a re-inspection.

You can catch Tim’s Behind the Kitchen Door reports Thursday night’s on the KSAT 12 News Nightbeat at 10 p.m.

Several restaurants also got perfect scores.

To see who did a good job click here and it will take you right to our perfect scores data base.

About the Authors:

Tim Gerber is an investigative reporter and anchor on the KSAT Defenders team.

Dale Keller is senior news photographer at KSAT-12.