Dirty Dining: Albo Pizza shut down by health inspectors
Albo Pizza is featured in this week's Dirty DiningPhoto: Video by ktnv.com
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Roaches in the sink. Liquid waste on the floor. It's no wonder the restaurant in this week's Dirty Dining got shut down.
But Contact 13 Chief Investigator Darcy Spears talked to the new owners, who say they're turning over a new leaf.
The whimsical mural splashed across the wall at Albo Pizza is a stark contrast to what's splashed on the kitchen floors... Not to mention the grill.
And when parts of the kitchen are that dirty, it's no wonder they've got roaches running around. One even posed for a photo taken by the health inspector.
"It's not as bad as it sounds, but it is an ongoing problem in downtown itself."
New owner Inga Budaeva says it won't be an issue again, but the pizzeria on the Las Vegas Strip near St. Louis has had problems before.
In October, Albo got a 39-demerit "C" grade for things like a kitchen full of flies and raw meat thawing in a sink with dirty dishes.
Darcy: This is the second time this place has been on Dirty Dining in five months. What's going on? Why can't they keep things clean back there?
Inga: Well, we have been in transition. We are incoming owners and we've been training so there are a lot of things that were new for us.
On March 11, the Health District shut Albo down with 49 demerits.
"We did have an issue with our associate who didn't keep up with the standards," says Inga.
That associate is a chef who was caught cooling chicken at room temperature.
The inspector told him to relocate it for proper cooling, but found the same chicken still sitting out an hour later.
Darcy: It's not a good idea to not listen to the health inspector when they tell you to do something.
Inga: Absolutely not. They're there for us to keep up to the standards, you know, keep it clean.
Cooked chicken wings had to be trashed because they were way out of the safe temperature zone.
Raw chicken wings were being stored on the floor.
And inspectors found black specks and debris in the sugar and salt. Inga blames that on the same chef.
Inga: And that's been addressed with him as well.
Darcy: So you're saying the black specks weren't living things? You just don't know exactly what they were?
Inga: No, absolutely they weren't. No.
She took us into the kitchen to show us the now-covered salt and sugar buckets.
Also, where inspectors saw dirty pizza shovels stored on the dirty top of the pizza oven, we saw a much prettier picture.
And remember that little kitchen 101 lesson we all learned about washing produce before preparing it? Inspectors say that didn't happen with some vegetables at Albo.
"It's an obvious thing, but sometimes those obvious things are so easy to miss."
Inga thinks her staff got nervous during the inspection, which she says also explains their reaction to the overflowing floor sink.
It was spilling liquid waste from dishwashing onto the kitchen floor, and employees were trying to divert it away from food areas with a mop.
"Health Department coming in is a big issue -- is a big thing for everyone, you know -- and not everyone knows how to deal with that professionally."
They hired a plumber, got it fixed, and were able to re-open the next day with an "A" grade.
Albo's new owners promise we won't see them back on Dirty Dining a third time. And we certainly hope they're right.