Behind the Kitchen Door: Basic health violations lead to low scores for trio of restaurants

Inspectors noted roaches in the kitchen, improper food handling, dirty dishes and utensils at 3 restaurants

Health inspectors noted roaches in the kitchen, improper food handling, dirty dishes and utensils at three restaurants

SAN ANTONIO – Geneses Restaurante located in the 1800 block of Buena Vista Street came in with a nearly failing score of 70.

The Honduran restaurant racked up 20 violations during it’s routine inspection on June 3.

The violations included raw chicken stored above beef and cheese and dirty food containers that were stored as clean. Kitchen workers were seen starting work after only washing their hands with water, which was likely because there was no hand soap in the kitchen or bathrooms. Dead cockroaches and insect droppings were also found in a drawer. Thirteen violations were corrected on site.

El Siete Mares in the 3800 block of Commerce Street got a 79 on their inspection in early June. The inspector found food inside the cold hold that was outside the required temperature, so it was thrown out. Food plates that were supposed to be clean were dirty with food debris and a container used to store utensils was dirty with dust build-up. The inspector noted two dead roaches were found in a sink. Eight of the violations were corrected on site.

Mittman Fine Foods in the 1100 block of Mittman Street came in with an 82.

Octavio Benavides, the longtime owner, said the inspector came at a busy time.

“If we’re real busy when the inspector comes, of course he’s going to find a mess in the kitchen,” Benavides said.

Six of the violations noted by the inspector were repeat violations. Employees were seen prepping food without hair nets or hats. Some employees didn’t have the required food handlers permit.

Five of the violations were corrected onsite.

Benavides said they updated those permits for employees and passed a re-inspection.

“(The inspector) already came out and she agreed with everything we did. We fixed what she told me to fix,” Benavides said. “To be honest with you, I really appreciate what they tell me and I try to correct it for the next inspection.”

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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.