Dirty Dining: Marie Callender's shut down by health inspectors

Darcy Spears


Dirty Dining: Marie Callender's shut down by health inspectors

CREATED Jan. 16, 2013

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- They're famous for their pies, but this time health inspectors threw a proverbial pie in the face of the Henderson Marie Callender's on North Stephanie by shutting the restaurant down with 38 demerits.

It usually takes more than 40 for immediate closure except in cases like this.

Everything's got to be at the right temperature in a restaurant kitchen.  And that includes the water.  If it's not hot enough, it's a big problem for inspectors.

And in this case, it was big enough to cause them to close Marie Callender's doors even though a plumber was on site working on the problem.

No hot water wasn't the only issue.

We hope the garbage can was hungry on inspection day because it got a lot of expired food to chew on.

The quiche filling was made on Christmas Day. It might have been really good then, but it was ten days old when inspectors found it in the fridge.

And so was some Mediterranean sauce and cooked chicken. Ten-day-old chicken is a food-poisoning accident waiting to happen.

But Thousand Island dressing had that beat in the dating game. Both it and the apple pie filling were nearly three weeks old.

And the garlic lemon sauce had been sitting around since early November.

Health inspectors also found raw chicken juice on the bottom of the reach-in fridge.

Cooked rice, pot roast and Shepard's pie mix were all at unsafe temperatures.

They were keeping a fridge on the carpet in the dining room, which is not OK.

And the inside of the ice machine was yucky with yellowish-brownish debris.

There was also food debris on supposedly clean dishes.

But we did spot a new inspection grade on the wall showing Marie Callender's was back up to an "A" just one day after they were shut down.

"We just wanted to come by, talk to you about what happened and show that you're cleaned up again and re-inspected if you'd like to show us the kitchen and answer our questions," Contact 13 Chief Investigator Darcy Spears said to the manager.

"I can't do that," he said.  "We're a corporate location, so the only thing I can give you is the phone number to our media person."

In typical, corporate restaurant chain fashion, an out-of-state media person declined to allow an on-camera interview and instead, sent a written statement.

It says, "The inspection of January 3, 2013 clearly did not meet the high quality standards of our restaurants. We immediately rectified the items noted and the location was in complete compliance within hours."