‘Numerous live cockroaches,’ among violations at Sandy Mexican restaurant

Apr 20, 2018, 10:45 PM | Updated: 10:46 pm

SANDY, Utah – A routine food safety inspection resulted in the immediate closure this week of the La Frontera Café restaurant in Sandy, because of numerous violations that posed an “imminent health hazard,” according to the Salt Lake County Health Department.

The restaurant, located at 61 W. 10600 South, remained closed on Friday evening after a follow-up inspection found remaining problems and did not allow the establishment to reopen, health inspectors said while leaving the restaurant.

The Sandy location of La Frontera Cafe has been closed since Wednesday following a routine food safety inspection.

“There are both live and dead cockroaches in the establishment,” the list of violations reads, “including near the tortilla chip storage, in the mop sink room, and dead cockroaches are present in the bar area.”

The “Food Service Establishment Closure” document goes on to read, “There is no certified food safety manager employed at the establishment.”

In all, inspectors found 48 violations, 17 of them critical, when they stopped by on Wednesday. In detailing the cockroach problem, the online violation summary says, “There are numerous live cockroaches at all stages of life present in multiple areas of the facility.”

“Pests and vermin in a food establishment are a serious problem,” said health department spokesperson Nicholas Rupp. “Many establishments have that problem.”

Other critical violations include food not being date marked, salsa being stored at the wrong temperature and “potentially hazardous food is being cooled in covered containers.”

Rupp said the “the inability to keep food as cold as it needs to be or as hot as it needs to be,” is a serious violation “because then those microorganisms can grow and make you sick.”

A sign on the door of the La Frontera Café in Sandy says the restaurant is closed for maintenance and repairs.

In addition, inspectors wrote that “there is not hot water available at the bar hand sink.” That same sink also lacked soap and a way to dry hands.

“The inability to wash hands is something that we take very seriously and could cause a restaurant to be closed,” Rupp said.

Rupp encourages residents to research the health grades of restaurants they frequent and also report anything unhealthy. He says to start by talking a good look around the entrance and dining areas.

“The public areas of the establishment are usually a pretty good indication of what private areas look like as well,” he said.

Requests for comments from management at the store were denied on Friday and a phone message left at the corporate office was not returned.

“It always seemed like a clean place to me,” said Duane Kopfer, standing next to his wife, Ellen, when they arrived Friday afternoon to find the La Frontera Cafe closed.

Potential customers showed up Friday to find a note on the door saying the restaurant was closed for maintenance and repairs.

“We drove in from Alpine just to have lunch here,” said Duane Kopfer, standing next to his wife. “It always seemed like a clean place to me.”

Despite the closure, Kopfer said he would be returning to the restaurant once it reopens.

Click here to read the full inspection report.

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‘Numerous live cockroaches,’ among violations at Sandy Mexican restaurant