Health Department Advisory; Las Palmas in Pittsburgh- Unsafe cooling, Insufficient and malfunctioning refrigeration, Lack of hand washing facilities

Health Department Advisory; Las Palmas in Pittsburgh- Unsafe cooling, Insufficient and malfunctioning refrigeration, Lack of hand washing facilities

Pittsburgh, PA

Las Palmas

700 Brookline Blvd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15226

The Allegheny County Health Department’s Food Safety Program conducted an unannounced retail food inspection on 6/9/2020. As a result of that inspection, and due to the severity of the specific violations Las Palmas was cited as being, “Out of Compliance” with Pennsylvania’s food safety regulations. During this inspection a total of 6 violations were found.

The Department issued a statement after closing Los Palmas which remains posted as we publish this story on June 10, 2020.

Unsafe cooling, Insufficient and malfunctioning refrigeration, Lack of handwashing facilities, Lack of Certified Food Protection Manager, Lack of food safety knowledge.

The inspector made the following comments in support of the violations found during the inspection:

  • Ground/chopped meat (beef), prepared chorizo, and marinaded beef products in the rear of the facility found between 48-50°F. Bus bins stored in the McCall 3-door cooler and are tightly covered with plastic film or tightly covered with a lid and were prepared the day before.
  • Walk-in cooler internal ambient air temperature ranging between 50-53°F. Thermometer hanging from a shelf shows 50°F and the inspector thermometer showed 53°F. Shelf thermometer present does not show the right temperature and shows the temperature to be 32°F.
  • Outside cooler replaced with a BERG BRFS-1D/25 and has an ETL certification and states that the unit conforms to NSF/ANSI STD. 7. Unit is a merchandiser and is for display/sale of prepackaged and bottled products. Facility instructed to replace the outdoor cooler with a commercial unit that is NSF approved and rated for holding temperature controlled for safety products such as raw/cooked meat, cut produce, and cheese/dairy. Replace unit with an approved commercial unit.
  • Facility lacks refrigeration and cooling capabilities to support their current operation.
  • Facility lacks hot water at the hand sink in the outside hand washing station. Only cool water is available.
  • Facility is using an Igloo cooler where the button must be held down to dispense water. Provide approved hand washing station at the outside taco station.
  • Facility repeatedly instructed to replace the Igloo cooler at the outside taco stand with an outdoor hand sink unit at prior inspections.
  • Facility lacks a certified food protection manager
  • Manager unaware of cold holding temperatures and cooling practices. This is evident with ground meat products and marinaded products stored in a 3-door McCall cooler found between 48-50°F overnight. Product stored in plastic bus bins covered.