The Weld County Commission on Monday approved the recommendation of its health department to close a colorful Mexican restaurant in Greeley, CO, for multiple critical food code violations. Tacos y Salsas, one of 12 units in a Colorado chain of restaurants owned by David Martinez, saw its Greeley outlet shut down until health code violations are corrected. Tacos y Salsas restaurants are known for their select raised beef, fresh corn tortillas made on-site, and offering soda only in bottles, as practiced in Mexico. Here’s what the Weld County Department of Public Health’s Environmental Health Service found in most its recent inspection of the Tacos y Salsas at Greeley:

  • Raw hamburger, eggs and bacon found stored above ready-to-eat foods in the walk-in cooler. All raw animal products shall be stored below ready-to-eat foods. Corrected at time of inspection. Repeat violation.
  • Personal drink found stored over food preparation table. Personal drinks shall be stored in a designated area or below food, food contact surfaces and equipment. Moved during inspection. Corrected at time of inspection. Repeat violation.
  • The facility had three repeat violations after receiving training. In addition, staff was unable to demonstrate that they understood risks associated with cold holding food (started ice bath but then did not maintain it and did not take temperatures to ensure food was cold held). Recommend additional training from third-party consultant. Correct immediately. Repeat violation.
  • Found potentially hazardous foods in the steam table at 110-127 degrees F. All potentially hazardous foods shall be maintained at 135 degrees F and above. Foods were off temperature less than four hours so were reheated and placed back in steam table, which was turned up. Corrected at time of inspection.
  • Found potentially hazardous foods holding at 48-68 degrees F in the reach-in cooler. Foods had been attempted to be kept cold by placing in ice, but ice was inadequate or missing (had completely turned to water that was at 52 degrees F). All potentially hazardous foods shall be maintained at 41 degrees F and below. Foods were off temperature for less than four hours, so ice baths were remixed. Corrected at time of inspection. Repeat violation.

Such violations were deemed critical by health officials because they carry the risk  of spreading foodborne illnesses.