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Dirty Dining: Cockroach infestation closes Pho restaurant

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Dirty Dining: Cockroach infestation closes Pho restaurant

By Darcy Spears. CREATED Oct 16, 2013

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- The creepy crawlies are scuttling back to Dirty Dining, just in time for Halloween.

It usually takes more than 40 demerits to shut a restaurant down, but Pho Little Saigon on South Eastern and the 215 was closed with 34 demerits because of an imminent health hazard after inspectors found a gross, unsanitary condition.

"We're here because you guys are on our Dirty Dining report this week from when you got shut down due to a cockroach infestation," Chief Investigative Reporter Darcy Spears announced to the person in charge at the restaurant.

Roaches were found inside containers of flour, sugar and starch. They were even inside a bag of frozen squid.

Darcy: So you guys obviously know you had a bunch of cockroaches everywhere.  How did that happen?
Brian Hoang: Actually, the cockroaches come from the other store when they deliver the foods.  And we clean it now, everything, we throw away the foods and we deep clean now and we call pest control to take care of it already.
Darcy: It says that there were multi-generational roaches, which means old, young, dead, alive, so it's not like they just crawled in one day and were there. 

Health inspectors found roaches throughout the facility, coming in through holes in the ceiling tiles and a gap at the back door. They were feeding on old food debris, grease and the carcasses of their counterparts.

Darcy: That means they were here for quite some time.  Enough time to breed.
Brian: Yeah they, probably, they been here almost two weeks, but we do clean out everything.  Right now everything go back to normal, everything perfect.

At the Oct. 1 inspection, inspectors also found noodles, rice and garlic at improper temperatures and utensils stored in dirty containers.

Darcy: They said you guys were storing gasoline in the kitchen.  Why would that have been?
Brian: Oh, just because the guys, they just working here like probably one day and they didn't know the place to put their stuff so they just kind of messed up a little bit.

There were also potentially hazardous foods in the fridge without date-labels, and old food debris caked on knives and the slicer.

Darcy: They also said you guys were using garbage bags for food storage.  What was that all about?
Brian: Oh, just some mistake.  We not use the bag for that.
Darcy: You're not doing that anymore?
Brian: Yeah.  Not anymore.

At Pho Little Saigon, health inspectors noted a "history of non-compliance and lack of control over risk factors for food-borne illness."

Darcy: Would you mind showing us around the kitchen so we can show that it's clean?
Brian: Right now I cannot let everyone in the kitchen right now.
Darcy: You can't let anyone in the kitchen right now?  How come?
Brian: Um, that's our policy right now.

Pho Little Saigon wasn't the only restaurant shut down.

For the second week in a row, a McDonald's restaurant was closed due to an imminent health hazard.

Health inspectors say the McDonald's on East Charleston and Lamb was unable to properly dispose of liquid waste, so sewage was coming up in the parking lot and flowing into the street.

Their overflowing sewage traps brought another problem--excessive flies in the kitchen, food prep and dish-washing areas.

Inspectors say the flies were attracted to the stench.

Pho Little Saigon was closed for almost a week before being re-inspected and re-opening with an A grade. 

The McDonald's at Charleston and Lamb remains closed and has not yet scheduled re-inspection.

Darcy Spears

Darcy Spears

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