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Rodents, foodborne illness: Restaurant closures, other inspections in Riverside County, Dec. 13-19

Press-Enterprise - 12/21/2019

Dec. 21--Here are the closures of restaurants and other food facilities announced by the Riverside Department of Environmental Healthbetween Dec. 13 and 19, 2019.

P.S. Gas food mart, 3689 N. Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs

* Closure date: Dec. 11

* Grade: Not graded

* Reason for closure: Rodent infestation. The inspector saw rodent droppings inside boxes of packaged snacks, several of which had been torn open; on the counter behind the hot dog roller; in cabinets under beverages dispensers; on floors throughout the facility; and feces and urine all over a back storage area including on prepackaged beverage cases. The station was told to stop selling everything except gas and tobacco products until the infestation was controlled.

* Reopening date: Dec. 16

Non-closure inspections of note

Here are selected inspections at facilities that weren't closed but had other significant issues.

Taps Fish House & Brewery, at 2745 Lakeshore Drive in Corona (in the Shops at Dos Lagos), was inspected Dec. 18 and received a failing grade of 82/B with two critical violations. Two and a half large containers of clam chowder made five days earlier, and spinach-artichoke dip made the day before, still hadn't cooled down to a safe temperature in the walk-in cooler. Multiple other items sitting out or in other cooling units were also at unsafe temperatures. Among the eight lesser violations, a sink didn't have soap, multiple areas needed cleaning and a prep sink was leaking badly enough to be impounded.

Murrieta Hot Springs Shell, at 40452 Murrieta Hot Springs Road in Murrieta, was inspected Dec. 18 and received a failing grade of 84/B with two critical violations. The inspector found rodent droppings in a back storage area. Also, some food was adulterated: ketchup packets that had gnaw marks and rodent droppings on them. Among the six lesser violations, cheese sticks were at an unsafe temperature in a small cooler that was impounded, and the facility needed cleaning. The inspector planned to return the next day to make sure the rodent droppings were cleaned up and there was no sign of infestation.

Finch, at 32395 Clinton Keith Road Suite A101 in Wildomar, was inspected Dec. 18 and received a failing grade of 85/B with two critical violations. The inspector found rodent droppings in a back storage room (but no signs of infestation anywhere else) as well as fruit flies in the bar. Also, the dishwasher wasn't dispensing sanitizer and was impounded.

Best Sushi & Grill, at 13525 Palm Drive in Desert Hot Springs, was inspected Dec. 17 in response to a foodborne illness complaint and received a failing grade of 80/B with two critical violations. Some shrimp, crab, chicken, rice and tempura batter were at unsafe temperatures. Also, dishes weren't clean: The dishwasher wasn't dispensing sanitizer and was impounded, and some utensils were being stored in dirty standing water. The inspector "found no employee present that was knowledgeable in food safety procedures."

Sugoi Sushi, at 890 Oak Valley Parkway Suite E in Beaumont, was inspected Dec. 16 in response to a foodborne illness complaint and received a failing grade of 76/C with three critical violations. Two plates of sushi rolls were sitting out at unsafe temperatures. Staff wasn't correctly keeping track of how long rice was being left out at room temperature. And dishes were being washed without hot water. Among the 10 lesser violations, multiple areas needed cleaning. Due to repeated issues within two years -- the restaurant failed an inspection and was closed in early 2018 -- it now faces an administrative hearing.

Updates from past weeks

The Papa John's Pizza at 6410 Magnolia Ave. in Riverside, which was closed Dec. 11 because of a leaking roof, was permitted to reopen Dec. 12.

The Nekter Juice Bar at 40695 Winchester Road Suite C103 in Temecula, which was closed Dec. 9 because of a cockroach infestation, was permitted to reopen Dec. 11.

Two snack bars at Riverside parks that were closed Dec. 10 for operating with expired health permits have not been listed as reopened: the Pachappa Little League snack bar at Don Jones Park, 3995 Jefferson St., and the Riverside Pop Warner Football & Cheer snack bar at Don Derr Park, 3003 Monroe St.

Also, the Cici's Pizza at 591 N. McKinley St. Suite 103 in Corona, which received a grade of 65/C on Nov. 13 and was closed for failing an inspection while on probation, having a cockroach infestation and not having hot water, has not been listed as reopened.

About this list

All food facilities in the county are routinely inspected to ensure they meet health codes. A facility loses four points for each critical violation -- and may have to close if the violation can't be corrected immediately -- and one or two points for minor violations. An A grade (90 to 100 points) is passing. Grades of B (80 to 89 points) and C (79 or below) are failing and typically require the proprietor to make improvements and be re-inspected.

This list is published online on Fridays. Any updates as restaurants are reopened will be included in next week's list. For more information on inspections of these or any restaurants in Riverside County, visit To submit a health complaint about a restaurant, go to or call 888-722-4234 during business hours or 951-782-2968 after-hours.

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