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El Mexico Cafe Seneca in Wichita fails inspection with 11 violations; employee doesn’t wash hands after handling raw chicken, moldy lemons and can opener on the prep counter had dried black food debris on the blade

El Mexico Cafe Seneca in Wichita fails inspection with 11 violations; employee doesn’t wash hands after handling raw chicken, moldy lemons and can opener on the prep counter had dried black food debris on the blade

By: Robert Dewey | robert.dewey@kansasrestaurantinspections.com

Wichita, KS

El Mexico Cafe Seneca

2544 SENECA ST
WICHITA, KS 67217
316-558-5220

The Kansas of Agriculture’s Bureau of Food Safety and Laboratory Services conducted an unannounced retail food inspection on 2/4/2020. As a result of that inspection, and due to the severity of the specific violations the El Mexico Cafe Seneca was cited as being, “Out of Compliance” with Kansas food safety regulations. During this inspection a total of 14 violations were found.

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

  • On the line prep area the cook placed raw chicken on the grill with her gloved hands and then discarded the gloves and put on new gloves without washing her hands. She then proceeded to touch the spatulas on the grill used for food handling. COS Educated the cook and she discarded the gloves and washed her hands prior to putting on new gloves.
  • In the walk-in cooler there was an open case of lemons with mold growing on several of the lemons. COS The person in charge (PIC) voluntary discarded the lemons. In the stand up cooler next to the stove there was an open package containing 2 raw beef burgers that were spoiled. COS The PIC discarded the burgers.
  • In the stand up cooler next to the stove there was raw shell eggs stored next to and touching a gallon of milk and raw beef was stored on a wire shelf above the milk. No leakage was visible. COS The PIC reorganized the cooler so the RTE foods were above the raw animal proteins. In the stand up cooler next to the prep line raw chicken and raw beef were stored on a wire shelf above an uncovered pan of chili rellenos and a pan of cooked beef. No visible leakage. COS The PIC rearranged the cooler so the raw animal protein was below the RTE foods.
  • On the main line steam table the beans were holding at 133 on the edge and 132 in the center. Chili con carne was holding at 131 degrees. COS The person in charge moved those items to the stove to rapidly heat them. All other PHF in the steam table was in compliance. The steam table was 203 degrees.*
  • In the stand up cooler next to the stove the following items were out of temp: Burger patties 3 packages at 44 degrees. The PIC stated the burgers had been in the cooler since 2/3. COS The PIC voluntary discarded the burgers. In the walk-in cooler the following items were out of temp: 2 bus tubs of prepared tacos dated 1/30 at 44 and 45 degrees. Cooked beans 3 bus tubs dated 2/2 and 2/3 at 44,45,45 degrees. 1 bus tub of carne rojo at 45 degrees. 2 pans of chili at 46 and 47 degrees. Twelve 5 gallon containers of prepared on site salsa ranging from 45-47 degrees. 4 1/3 pans of white queso sauce all at 45 degrees. One 1/2 pan of cooked pork at 47 degrees. Fourteen gallon pitchers of salsa. all at 46 degrees. Note the walk-in cooler has a wall that separates the cooler except for a door way opening. One side of the cooler was 46.4 degrees and one side was 39.7 degrees. The PIC confirmed all the PHF had been in the cooler over four hours. COS The PIC voluntary discarded all the PHF. The owner contacted the vendor for repair.
  • n the stand up cooler next to the stove there was a flat containing 3 dozen raw shell eggs that were holding at 47 degrees.* The PIC stated the eggs were placed in the cooler this morning. COS The PIC voluntary discarded them. The ambient air temp of the cooler was 43.5 degrees.
  • In the stand up cooler next to the stove there was a container of prepared on site salsa that was not dated. The PIC confirmed the salsa was prepared in the am 1 day prior over 24 hours. COS The salsa was correctly dated. In the stand up cooler next to the line there was a pan of cooked beef that was not dated. The PIC confirmed the beef was cooked 2 days prior. COS The beef was dated. In the walk-in cooler there was a pan of cooked pork that was dated for 1/16. The PIC confirmed it was prepared and frozen on 1/16 but was thawed for use 2 days prior. COS The beef was out of temp as well so it was voluntary discarded.
  • There is not an asterisk linking the raw animal proteins that are served under cooked. Not COS.
  • The facility did not have a test kit to measure the quaternary sanitizer solution. The sanitizer is automatically dispensed at 200 ppm. Dish washing takes place in the ware washing machine that uses chlorine. Bar dishes are also washed in the ware washing machine using chlorine sanitizer. Not COS
  • Hanging on a rack next to the stove area there were two soup dippers stored as clean that had dried food debris on them. COS The PIC placed them soup dippers into to ware washing area for cleaning. The commercial can opener on the prep counter had dried black food debris on the blade. The PIC confirmed the blade had not been used today. VCOS The opener was placed in the ware washing area for cleaning. In the clean dish storage area there were two pans stored and stacked as clean with dried food debris on them COS The pans were placed in the ware washing area for cleaning.
  • The only hand washing sink in the kitchen measured 69 degrees. Not COS The hand washing sink in the ladies restroom measured 94 degrees. Not COS
  • There is a split valve installed down stream from the AVB on the mop sink with one hose attached to chemical dispensing system with an air gap and the other side attached to a hose hanging below the flood rim of the sink. COS The split valve was removed.
  • In the ware washing area there were 3 spray bottles with purple, yellow, and blue liquids. The bottles were not labeled. COS The PIC identified and labeled the chemicals.
  • Under the counter next to the prep area there was a bottle of oven cleaner and two spray bottles of Awesome degreaser stored next to and touching food liners used for tacos and chili rellenos and aluminum foil used for food wrap. COS The PIC moved the chemicals to the chemical storage area.

* The temperature danger zone is food temperatures between 41 and 135 degrees Fahrenheit and the most rapid bacteria growth occurs between 70 and 125 degrees Fahrenheit. The longer food sits in this temperature range, the greater the risk that bacteria will begin to grow on food.

Abbreviations used by inspectors:

AVB- An Atmospheric Vacuum Breaker (AVB) is a backflow prevention device used in plumbing to prevent backflow of non-potable liquids into the drinking water system
BOH- Back of the House
CFSM- Certified Food Safety Manager
COS- Corrected on-site during inspection
FCS- Food contact surface
PIC- Person-in-charge
PHF- Potentially Hazardous Foods
RIC- Reach in cooler
RTE- Ready to Eat
WIC- Walk-in cooler