Behind the Kitchen Door: North Side restaurant fails health inspection

SA Cafe cited for operating without a food permit, 20 more violations

SAN ANTONIO – A North Side restaurant operating without a permit failed its most recent health inspection in August and earned the lowest score we’ve seen all year.

SA Cafe, located in the 20800 block of Highway 281 North, got a failing score of 66. That’s a 20-point drop from its previous inspection in February, when it received an 86.

During the cafe’s inspection in August, it racked up 21 violations, eight of which were repeat violations.

Raw eggs were temping at 71 degrees, well above the required 45 degrees or below.

Raw meat was stored over ready-to-eat noodles, and more raw meat was found stored in grocery bags.

There was debris inside the ice machine, and cleaned utensils were dirty with food debris.

Employees were not wearing hairnets and weren’t properly drying their hands after washing, likely because there was nothing with which to dry them.

The inspector also reminded the business that it should not allow smoking in the establishment after finding cigarette butts in a storage hallway.

There was no certified food manager on site, and several employees were unable to produce their food handler certificates.

The business was also operating without a permit, which it was previously cited for in February.

KSAT Investigates reporter Tim Gerber stopped by the location this week to see if the business had addressed the issues.

Jackie Nguyen, who identified herself as a worker, said the manager wasn’t at the business but was on his way to talk to us about the failing score.

Gerber waited for 40 minutes, but the manager never showed up.

It also took health inspectors three visits before they could conduct a follow-up inspection. The first two times, the business was closed. They finally got inside on the third visit on August 31.

The inspector noted several violations had been corrected, but the establishment was still operating without a permit.

This week, Metro Health said the business now has a food permit to operate, but it expires at the end of September, and so far, the business had not paid for a new one.

Want to know who has good scores and who doesn’t? KSAT 12 has a new tool for that.

Just click this link, and it will take you to a new mapping tool we have showing the recent scores for San Antonio food businesses.

The reports go back six months and are frequently updated.

You can catch Tim’s BKD reports Thursday’s on the Nightbeat.


Watch other Behind the Kitchen Door stories here

About the Authors

Dale Keller is senior news photographer at KSAT-12.

Recommended Videos