Dirty Dining: La Pupusa Loka

Dirty Dining: La Pupusa Loka

By Darcy Spears. CREATED Sep 19, 2012

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Before you pursue your hunger pang for a pupusa, take a look at what inspectors found at La Pupusa Loka on East Charleston.

For starters, food prep and storage wasn't up to par.

Beans and octopus were thawing on the prep table instead of in the cooler or under running water.

Several foods that were in the cooler weren't labeled or dated.

Cheese pupusa mixture was left uncovered on a food storage shelf.  And lettuce was also left to fend off contaminants without a cover. It was stored on top of a plastic container.

And an open bag of sugar was stored in an even stranger place -- behind a customer booth by the bathroom.

At the inspection, which was done on Sept. 7, there was a lot of expired food.

Fried pork rinds can be hard enough to digest when they're fresh. So chew on this. Inspectors found chicharones (which are fried pork rinds) that were three and a half weeks old.

They also found a lot of other foods in the fridge that were a week old.

Cheese and ground meat were improperly cooled and other meat, beans and an egg mixture were at unsafe temperatures.

Then there's the cook, who didn't wash her hands, and a food handler who inspectors saw touching food with bare hands, because the restaurant ran out of gloves.

There were no sanitizer buckets in use. Instead, inspectors found extremely dirty towels on the prep counter.

And inspectors found an unsettling site. They had a can of Raid right at the front counter. Only professional pest control is allowed in restaurants.

We headed down East Charleston to get answers.

Darcy: Hi, I'm Darcy Spears from channel 13.  I need to talk to the person in charge about the health inspection when you guys were closed down.

We found a cash-only business with no customers and only two employees who didn't seem to know what to do with us.

Darcy: Nobody in charge, nobody who speaks English, nobody who can answer any questions?

No, no and no. After making sure they knew when our story would be on in case they found someone who could talk to us, we left, noting that they had been reinspected and were back up to an "A" grade.

La Pupusa Loka was warned that they had to have less than 10 demerits with no repeat of critical or major issues if they wanted to reopen.  They achieved that during their re-inspection.


Darcy Spears

Darcy Spears

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Darcy Spears is currently the Chief Investigative Reporter for Action News.