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Dirty Dining in Las Vegas

Nothing is as disheartening to a person when he or she finds out that the restaurant they frequent or have eaten at recently has been closed by the health department. With the reason being for not passing an inspection and that they are now a participant in "Dirty Dining." The buying public takes it for granted, expects and want their eating establishments to care about our well-being. Expectations that they care about the cleanliness of the food that is eaten, enjoyed and paid for.

Dirty Dining is something we as consumers must be aware of!
Dirty Dining is something we as consumers must be aware of!
Martin Snytsheuvel

Most of customers take it for granted that these establishments do what’s right and keep all of the working conditions within the realm of cleanliness and consumer safety. It is unfortunate that many of these restaurants are regularly caught red-handed and have defied health district orders more than once.

One time recently it was revealed that one restaurant took the health district's closure sign off the door and laid it face down on a table where no one can see it to hide their violations. This is a terrible and insulting practice to any customer that has dined there before or will dine there. Health District Inspectors always place the closure sign properly and displayed in the front window and door. This is only fair to unsuspecting hungry customers’ visiting any eatery here in Las Vegas or anywhere in the US.

Typical violations include improper hand-washing. Also keeping various potentially hazardous foods out of temperature in the kitchen, including cooked noodles, rice and raw eggs, I.e... Serving dishes stacked directly on top of foods without barriers. The practice of washing dishes next to thawing raw meat is unacceptable as well. Meat slicers and other prep equipment have been found to have dried food debris in crevices. Just not fair to an unassuming consumer.

Other embarrassing and unhealthy practices are when an owner or manager cannot state employee health policy, food safety or proper water temperature when asked. If they do not know how can they possibly practice safe sanitary food prep and serving procedures?

Another sad common denominator here in Las Vegas is the restaurants that have been caught being unclean, serving and preparing unsanitary delicacies in their restaurants is that they feel like they are the victim. Feeling sadness and more uncomfortable that they were caught than they are in possibly poisoning their loyal clientele. This is the real concern.

Many times you will see an example where the restaurant owner and/or manager strategy to hide from those that would confront their dirty dining habits instead of being positive and not only admitting to their indiscretions but putting a a positive attitude and expression to make it right. This is the norm with these individuals hiding and cowering when confronted. This is not the way these violations should be addressed. These restaurant owners think that because they are out of site they are out of mind. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Many of the typical violations that can be found are imminent health hazards, inadequate refrigeration, some having multiple roof leaks into food prep areas and many with pest infestation, both cockroaches and flies commonly. A dirty dining list in your community will let you know who these restaurants are and you then will be well informed that behind the scenes these unhealthy practices are going on and where.

You surely want to know about which restaurants that are closed for repeat critical and major violations. You need and want to know who the repeat offenders. These are businesses that just don’t care! They need to not only remedy the unhealthy situation/s but work hard to make sure that they don’t continue with these and other health code violations in the future. Consumers will not frequent establishments with multi continuing health violations and closures if there knew!

Surprisingly some establishments never reopen. They are closed by the health department and with that notice treat it as the final straw to make the closure permanent, realizing that it was eminent due to their financial or management situation to make the needed healthful corrections.

It is important that if you as a consumer get ill and you believe it’s because of the food you just ate at a restaurant go ahead and report it. Report it to the Health District in the city where you believe it happened. Don’t worry, if you got sick you won’t be alone. These practices can make many people ill and when the health district hears of one or multiple illnesses from the same eatery; rest assured right or wrong that establishment will be investigated.

The good news is most restaurants are clean law abiding caring companies that love their clientele and would never endanger them in any way for serving dirty and unsanitary food. It is important that companies that serve and handle food understanding that health regulations and procedures are in place for a better quality of life for the community they serve.